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Wichita School Board Will Look Internally For New Superintendent

Abigail Beckman
Members of the Wichita School Board discuss first steps in the hiring process for a new superintendent at their meeting Monday. Current Superintendent John Allison will be leaving at the end of the school year.

The Wichita School Board decided first steps in the search for a new superintendent Monday night.

Current district Superintendent John Allison recently took a job with Olathe Public Schools and will be leaving at the end of this school year.

Board members were adamant about including the community in the process and voted to use an online survey to gather input. The survey will be available within the next few days. The results will be used to create a profile of characteristics necessary for the job.

Sherdeill Breathett, whose children went to school in the district, urged the board to consider internal candidates for the position rather than hiring a firm to do a costly nationwide search.

"The cost of a search is equivalent to one job, or somewhere in that area," Breathett said, referencing a $25,000 estimate given by board members last week. "And while that seems small in the grand scheme of things, I assure you that it would be great for the individual that would remain employed in these tough economic times."

Board members decided to look at internal candidates before taking the search elsewhere, but voted to request proposals from search firms as well, which board member Mike Rodee suggested due to the short timeframe the district has to find a replacement. 

"It won't cost us anything to do, but it prepares us if we have to use a search firm, just in case we need it," Rodee said. "If we don't, we can throw the proposals away. But if we do need them, then we're not wasting another two to four weeks when we need to be hiring somebody."

The board plans to bring in a representative from the Council of Great City Schools to help solidify a profile, which they hope will be done by the end of January. The next board of education meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23. 


Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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