San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 22nd, 2008
Hays CISD starts superintendent search

STAFF REPORT

KYLE – Seeking a replacement for retiring Superintendent Kirk London, the Hays CISD is going back to the same search firm that brought London five years ago.

The Hays CISD Board of Trustees hired School Executive Consulting Inc., Thursday, targeting a start date of March 2009 for the next superintendent.

Mike Moses and David Thompson of School Executive Consulting spent three hours with the trustees Thursday answering questions about the process and discussing the time required.

London announced his plans for retirement at the June School Board meeting. He earned his five-year pin with Hays CISD in May and has devoted his 35-year career to education. London said he would serve through the school year, which begins next Monday.

“We have followed closely the progress this district has made over the years,” Thompson told the board. “You have managed a lot of hard issues related to finance and growth. We enjoyed working with you several years ago and I believe it was a good experience for the broad community. We hope the search will be a positive, uniting experience for the board. We hope you have as much success with your selection as we believe you had with the selection last time.”

London came to Hays CISD in a time of division within the school district, which had just failed to pass a $95 million school bond. London’s first task was to assuage elements in the community who were unhappy with Michael Hinojosa, the previous superintendent. Hinojosa now is the superintendent of the Dallas ISD.

Moses said the community input aspect of the search will be similar to the process five years ago. Approximately 50 people representing a broad spectrum of the Hays CISD community — students, parents, teachers, auxiliary staff, community members with no children in the schools, pastors, business owners, and civic leaders, for example — will participate in 15-member focus groups led by Moses and Thompson.

Trustees will appoint members focus group members, who, through moderation by the consultants, will develop a superintendent profile.

“We find that it works better when they’re mixed and talking and listening to one another in these focus groups,” Moses said. “They walk out of these meetings feeling a little more united.

“We have followed with interest this district,” Moses continued. “We do not do that many searches. We did two last year. We take this real seriously. We try to be selective and work with outstanding districts.”

Moses saluted London’s work and Hays CISD.

“There is a culture here and the culture here is working,” he told the board. “You’re in a good location with quality people and a competitive salary. Dr. London’s reputation as a good steward works to your benefit.”

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