Writing a resume on the part of the applicant, and reading a resume on the part of the prospective employer.
Writing a good resume also takes a great deal of skill, something most of the district’s applicants don’t appear to have.
And if a potential district leader can’t write a good, solid resume that holds the reader’s attention, what other skills are they lacking?
That’s one of the key skills I learned as a department head 30 some odd years ago.
FYI, Frank Till couldn’t spell and couldn’t write a coherent sentence, although nobody would know that unless they were privy enough to read his raw e-mails.
And we know exactly what kind of skills he was lacking…
My own resumes (when I wrote them all those years ago) were better than most, and always landed interviews.
Not that I changed jobs all that often. Well, make that not changing employers all that often.
What’s really shameful here, is that the experience listed on my own resumes was better than some of applicants, despite the fact that I don’t hold a degree.
Some of the resumes showed job changes every year or two, while one or two had no current job at all.
One had the most current job as of April of this year and looking to move on…
Most employers won’t even consider looking at a frequent job changer no matter what the circumstance.
Several applicants were school principals or lower level district administrators.
One was a teacher who obviously thought he possessed the skills to jump to the top right away.
A Broward teacher.
The main thing I looked for was accountability, of which the Superintendent level applicants had little when it came to staff.
Plenty of “achievement” in raising grades or curricula, or community relations, but absolutely lacking in the one skill that Broward needs most.
Still, a good ten remain, most of those have major business experience and education experience.
Here are four applicants that are worth a look, each of them having local experience:
Dr. Thomas Geismar, former North Central Area Superintendent.
Harry La Cava, also former North Central Area Superintendent.
Both have moved on to Superintendent level, Geismar having become Chief of School Operations at Charter Schools USA as well.
Art Johnson, former Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools.
Johnson needs to be examined with a microscope because of the row with his former School Board, but he’s worth at least a look.
And one more, local activist Donna Korn.
Korn comes from the local business community and has an intriguing resume, although it lacks information on holding subordinates accountable, her business experience in just about every other district need is extensive.
She’s also a district level activist, and knows the successes and failures of the system.
And that makes her worth a look.
But there’s one caveat. She doesn’t have a Masters degree.
At least not yet. She has some of the credits toward the degree and if she makes the grade (pun intended) she needs to finish the degree as a condition.
Pardon me for singling out Donna, but she fits the model that served me well during my own career.
A great resume beats a degree every time.
Here are some of the other eight candidates I’ve singled out:
Chuck Burbridge, Oak Park, Illinois with a resume kickoff that demands attention:
“Senior executive who specializes in the transformation of school districts.”
Debra Braithwaite, Columbia, S.C. with a PHD rather than an EdD.
“A transformational leader with demonstrated, consistent success as a school and school district administrator in urban, suburban and rural settings.”
Miguel Ameigeiras, Davie, Fl with executive leadership in the military arena.
“Senior Marine Corps officer with executive leadership experience in exercise direction, political-military analysis, strategic and operational planning, program administration and manpower management.”
Paul Fetscher, a doctor of education with a background as a C.E.O. of a construction company.
I had to dig a little deeper into this one to pull out his corporate experience which manages short term and long term goals (key in any management) but there’s something else:
His resume presents a plan for regaining some of the 25,000 students lost to private and charter schools, solicit support and resources from the community to diminish budget problems, and redirect funding to where it’s needed most.
Unusual in a resume for sure, but it did garner attention, and that’s a plus.
Thomas Seigel, South Roy, Washington not only has experience as a district Superintendent, but has extensive leadership experience as a Naval Intelligence Officer.
Robert Runcie, Chicago, Illinois, while not a Superintendent, has experience in closing under performing schools and removing ineffective principals and teachers (something our district needs badly.)
According to his resume, Runcie also founded several companies with satellite offices around the country.
While I don’t pretend to be the “be-all, end-all” when it comes to selecting the next Superintendent, I do have the background to generate commentary and interest.
The interview process should be interesting.