Less than three weeks after Verona Area School District superintendent Dean Gorrell announced his retirement, the school board has launched the process to find his replacement.
At its Monday, Jan. 27, meeting, board members approved the wording of a document seeking a superintendent consulting firm. Proposals are due back to the board by late February, and the board plans to interview and select a consulting firm by early April.
Gorrell’s retirement is effective June 30, 2021, with a new superintendent to start the next day. Much of this year will be dedicated to selecting a search firm and then working with the consultant to collect community feedback before the job is posted, likely in October.
The consulting firm will then find candidates that align with the goals identified by the district and community.
The board plans to interview candidates in November and December and make their selection before the year is up.
The request for proposals, or RFP, the district approved Monday provides interested consulting firms information about the district’s demographics, its leadership design and other characteristics of the district, such as the board’s strategic plan and the successful 2017 referendum that provided $180 million of funding for a new high school.
The document emphasizes the district’s desire to engage as many people as possible and connect with diverse populations.
Parts of it were written vaguely enough in order to require a consulting firm to do its research on the district before submitting proposals, explained consultant Roger Price who helped the board’s Policy and Personnel committee design the request.
“Our intent was to be detailed, but still leave it open for individual consultants to demonstrate their capacity,” he said.
In his written announcement on Jan. 8, Gorrell stated he was giving the board advance notice so there would be “ample time” to get feedback from staff, students, families and community members.
Before then, the district will restructure its administration team, with three deputy superintendents, directors of elementary and secondary education and a family, staff and community engagement liaison.
While the deputy superintendent of business services position will stay vacant until after the new superintendent is hired, the district is seeking applications for the director of elementary education for the start of the 2020-21 school year, as well as principal positions for Country View Elementary School and Savanna Oaks Middle School.