FARMINGTON – Leadership, communication, school finance knowledge and good community relations are some of the qualities the RSU 9 Board of Directors are looking for in a new superintendent.
Five applications for the position were submitted by the Dec. 3 deadline.
The Maine School Management Association is screening the applications to make sure all necessary information is included in the applications.
The board is faced with finding a superintendent to replace 20-year veteran Mike Cormier of Wilton as of July 1, 2013. Cormier is retiring at the end of the school year.
There have been 192 responses to the surveys on the qualities people would like to see in a new superintendent, board Vice Chairwoman Monique Claverie of Farmington said.
Robert Pullo of Wilton, chairman of the board's Administrator Evaluation Committee which is heading up the search, previously said candidates would be interviewed in late January or early February 2013.
There were a lot of good comments on the surveys that were very consistent, board Chairman Mark Prentiss of Industry said.
The comments will help formulate questions, Director Claire Andrews of Farmington said.
There will be three interview teams consisting of 10 people, she said. Staff members, parents, students and board members will be among the people on the teams.
Qualities that came out of the meetings between the board and stakeholders were someone who has a focus on education leadership, is innovative and knows what works and doesn't work, director Iris Silverstein of Farmington said.
Other qualities are somebody who recognizes the importance of professional development and knows how to make it happen, and understands the economic situation, she said.
Student board representative Emily Rice said the high school Student Council has offered to put out a survey to students to see what they would like in a superintendent.
As long as the board has the information by January that would be fine, Claverie said.
Nine students responded to the survey. Among their top qualities listed were school improvement, knowledge of curriculum and community involvement, Claverie said.
Rice said she would like to see someone who recognizes the value of sports and fine arts.
Another student representative on the board, Derek Haley said he thinks it is important for a superintendent to have a connection to students. He said Superintendent Cormier goes to the school often and talks with students.
Director Betsey Hyde of Temple said that an important quality is communication. She would like to see someone who listens to staff and is approachable.
“I want someone who is willing to listen,” she said.
Director Wanda Soule of Chesterville said she would like to see someone who is part of the community. One of the teachers said they would like to see someone who has been a teacher and who is familiar with the curriculum, she said.
Director William Reid of New Sharon said he would like to see someone who is a master of state laws regarding education and someone who is thrifty and understands that most of the money comes from taxpayers.
“We need someone who recognizes leadership abilities,” director Nancy Crosby of Weld said. “Someone who would be recognized at the state Legislature.”
Not a political entity, she said, but someone who is recognized as an authority.