Superintendent search forums: Show up and speak out

Published 6:47 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

By Staff
A few people — and we mean three — showed up to a community forum at Northside High School Thursday evening.
The forum allowed the trio to tell the school board what sort of superintendent they want it to seek.
Perhaps the low turnout signaled that people are busy on Thursday nights. Or maybe they’re embarrassed to speak in front of their neighbors. Or it could be they just don’t care very much. Some people probably don’t know an interim school superintendent has taken the schools’ reins while the board looks for a permanent replacement for former Superintendent Jeff Moss.
But excuses don’t really matter. A three-person crowd is embarrassing, especially considering the number of parents and students in our community who will be directly affected by the board’s decision.
Those of you who didn’t attend the first forum have two other chances: They’re at 6 p.m. on March 5 and 12. The first will be at Southside High School, the second at Washington High School.
These forums are your chance to persuade the school board to your point of view. If you don’t show, school board members won’t know what you want in a superintendent.
The top Beaufort County Schools position is critical: The new superintendent will recommend principals, distribute funding and affect tax rates and testing scores.
Here are a few questions forum participants could put before the school board:
Should the board search for only “local” superintendent candidates who may already have experience with issues facing our communities?
Should the board seek only someone who has run a school system before?
How much financial experience should the person have?
Should the board consider candidates who may have desirable qualities for the position, but have never worked in a school system?
You’ll have many other questions, we’re sure, so give the board an earful.
If the community doesn’t step up and provide some direction to help narrow down the search, the school board will have to guess what citizens want.
And that’s no way for this to work.