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District to Lay Out Superintendent Search Timeline in Special Meeting

Published on Monday, September 25, 2023 | 12:40 pm

According to a timeline contained in an agenda for a special meeting of the Pasadena Unified School District, the plans call for the new superintendent to begin work in the district on Jan. 1

The Board is looking for a replacement for Brian McDonald. McDonald left the district on June 30 after serving as superintendent for nine years.

Currently, Dr. Elizabeth Blanco is serving as the Interim Superintendent.

On Tuesday, the Board will meet to determine the characteristics, skills and qualities desired in the new superintendent and publicly announce the timeline and procedures in the search.

“PUSD deserves a superintendent with exceptional leadership and organizational management skills that has a passion for serving this community and knows and understands the academic needs of our students,” said School Board President Michele Richardson Bailey. 

The district is using the search firm Leadership and Associates to lead the search for a new top educator.

There are just under 14,000 students enrolled in 23 PUSD K-12 school sites.

In a guest op/ed in Pasadena Now, one local resident called on the district to slow down the process.

“It is a disservice to the teachers [and staff], students, parents and community members to rush through a process that should be well thought out and executed in such a manner as to not make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past,” said Sally Iverson. 

“For example, the school Board gave the last superintendent 10 years and then even renewed his contract when we didn’t have to. Why? The school Board’s rush to renew his contract cost us unnecessary monies that we could have used to increase salaries, purchase classroom materials, and other vital resources to improve student achievement. The school Board should work on embracing and monitoring data in order to determine whether systems or resources are working prior to making decisions that affect the district.” 

On Wednesday, the district will push out online surveys. The deadline for the survey is Oct. 11.

That same month consultants confer with staff and community designated by the Board to receive input on the search. 

Consultants will identify potential candidates; development and posting of recruitment materials and position description. 

Ads for the position will appear in EdCal.

Candidates must file their applications by Nov. 10. The consultants will conduct background checks on the candidates after the filing period closes.

In closed session on November 27, the Board and consultants will confer and review all applications and select candidates to be interviewed.

In early December, the Board will interview candidates, select finalists in an all-day closed-session Board meeting. The Board will later complete the validation process of the leading candidate and make final determination. 

The Board will approve the new superintendent contract at a regularly scheduled Board meeting in December. 

“It is vital that we take our time to ensure we make the right decision. The continued success of the school district depends on it,” Richardson Bailey said.

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