PCM begins search for new superintendent

by Tyler Foster

The PCM Board of Education has begun its search for a new superintendent to replace the former superintendent, Ms. Jane Babcock. The board asked middle school and high school administrators to send a select group of students to meet with a hiring firm from Omaha, Neb., which is in charge of interviews for the search. On Wednesday, April 15, the students met with two members of this firm, who are former superintendents at other high schools in Iowa. The group met with the two representatives in the middle school library for a discussion on which qualities the students were looking for in their next superintendent.
“It gave us a sense of feeling like we matter and that we have a say of what goes on at this school district,” sophomore Katie Vande Wall said. “What we want to see in a superintendent and a little bit of what our school is about and what our community is all about. I am so glad that we have a team assembled, that it’s not just adults trying to find a superintendent. I feel like it’s important because it is just as much our education as theirs.”
Community members also had the opportunity to help out, as the PCM School District Website held a survey, asking questions like, “Tell us the good things about your community,” “Tell us the good things about your school” and “What issues should the superintendent be aware of as he/she comes into the district?” To try and decide what kind of person the communities of Prairie City and Monroe are looking for.
` The board is looking for “an individual who is even tempered, positive and has a sense of humor. An individual who is a skilled communicator, visible and who establishes excellent relationships both internally and externally. [He or she} possesses the technical skills to be a superintendent, including: Finance, state and federal regulatory requirements, curriculum and instruction, local policies and facilities. A leader who supports and holds principals and staff accountable, is professional, values the team approach and is a servant of the district; a balanced leader who puts kids and families first,” Stafford said.
School Board Member Nicole Stafford said, “I can only speak for myself here and not for the board, but it wasn’t an easy decision to decide if I thought we should hire a firm or not. I consulted many views from various people, both in favor and against the use of a firm, and it finally came down to wanting someone to help the board get through this process, following all laws and regulations that pertain to hiring.”
The board has many other responsibilities that need to be accomplished as well, such as employment contracts and facility issues, among other things. “Also, since the board is already very busy with many topics, the firm would help keep the board accountable to push through this process,” Stafford said.
The board is looking for “an individual who is even tempered, positive and has a sense of humor. An individual who is a skilled communicator, visible and who establishes excellent relationships both internally and externally. [He or she} possesses the technical skills to be a superintendent, including: Finance, state and federal regulatory requirements, curriculum and instruction, local policies and facilities. A leader who supports and holds principals and staff accountable, is professional, values the team approach and is a servant of the district; a balanced leader who puts kids and families first,” Stafford said.
Deadlines for application are due today, April 30, and from there, the search firm will start their processing of applicants. The board has set aside interviews for May 26-29, so expect to see a hire sometime after that date.