South Orangetown Central School District

At its November 17 meeting, the Board of Education adopted position specifications for its superintendent search following a report by School Leadership LLC consultants Susan Wollin and Kenneth Mitchell, Ed.D.

Wollin and Mitchell reviewed the process through which they had gathered input from students, staff members, parents and community members, which included a series of in person and virtual focus groups and an online survey.

“The Board made it clear that they wanted to engage as many community members as possible in informing the development of a candidate profile,” Wollin said.

A total of 100 individuals participated in focus groups; 597 individuals completed the online survey. The consultants remarked on the quality of student participation at all levels–elementary, middle and high school–and the high survey response rate. “This was easily double the typical participation rate of other districts this size,” noted Mitchell. “People love this place. People are proud of the schools…this was consistent across all groups.”

Based on feedback from the school district community, School Leadership identified the following summary of key characteristics:

  • An instructional leader with substantive and meaningful teaching, building and district-level experience in a high expectations district who is excited to lead SOCSD into the next decade
  • A strategic, systems-oriented and fiscally responsible problem solver with demonstrated and notable experience engaging a school community to achieve the district’s vision and mission
  • A proactive communicator who enjoys and welcomes listening to and engaging with multiple and diverse stakeholder groups and transparently shares information with clarity and consistency using a wide variety of outlets
  • A confident and diplomatic leader with the wisdom and courage to productively resolve challenges and achieve unity through a collaborative approach to school governance
  • An approachable, calm and caring educational mentor committed to elevating and inspiring all members of a dynamic district to a higher level of personal, professional and community accountability and achievement

“One of the most important charges of a board of education is the hiring and evaluation of the superintendent,” stated Board President Dana Stilley, Ph.D. “This is a responsibility that we take very seriously and we deeply appreciate that so many of our students, parents, staff and community members chose to contribute to this process.”

The Board’s resolution to approve the position specifications enables School Leadership to proceed with recruitment. The anticipated timeline is as follows:

November 21, 2022: Application opens via the School Leadership website
February 5, 2023: Application deadline
March 2, 2023: Slate of semifinalists are presented to the Board of Education in Executive Session
March 3-31, 2023: Semifinalist and finalist interviews to be conducted during Board of Education Executive Session
April 2023: New superintendent of school announced with anticipated July 1, 2023 start date