Time’s a wastin’ and it’s about ten days since Jim Notter announced his retirement.
That’s 80 days left to choose a permanent replacement if the Board continues in that mode.
Jules Verne may have been able to write about travelling around the world in 80 days, but in the real world, political bodies never move that fast.
So let’s start looking at the names coming across my desk of those who may be looking to take the ultmate hot seat.
Dr. Joanne Harrison
Dr. Joel Herbst
Dr. Tom Geismar
Before I go any further, the media has it wrong when mentioning the requirements for the job.
A Doctorate is NOT required, although preferred.
Critics of Jim Notter and the Board for overlooking the fact that he didn’t have the invaluable“Dr.” in front of his name were just plain wrong.
Joanne Harrison retired several years ago as North Area Superintendent only to come out of retirement to become Deputy Superintendent of educational programs and student support.
Tom Geismar was the North Central Area Superintendent when I was a Board member who left in ’06 to become Superintendent of the Exiter West Regional School district in Rhode Island.
Joel Herbst rose through the ranks to become the South Area Superintendent.
Donnie Carter rose through the ranks to become Chief Operations Officer for the district.
Getting to the meat of it, my advice is no.
Harrison and Geismar are pretty close in ranking with Geismar taking the slight lead with about five years as a district Superintendent.
But again no, and I’ll explain later.
Herbst hasn’t come far enough and Carter hasn’t had the kind of resposibility reqired for the job, at least not yet.
The good news about Donnie Carter is that he survived as COO under Till the Terrible, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.
As I had been writing all along, the district needs a structural change.
The job of “Superintendent” should be filled by a CEO type.
Technically, according to the alternate qualifications as published, both Donnie Carter andBen Leong (district CFO) would meet many of those qualifications.
The Board should consider creating an office of Associate Superintendent which would be ultimately responsible for all things education as is the current Superintendent.
The CEO Superintendent would bear the sole responsibility for district operations and maintenance plus all other buisness decisions and needs.
In that light, none of the names on my list would qualify.
Both Harrison and Geismar would qualify for a newly created Associate Superintendent position.
Will there be more interest?
It’ll be interesting to observe the Board’s actions in filling the Superintendent’s position.
Can it be done in 80 days?
Time will tell.