What does Kettering want in its next school superintendent? New report spells it out

K-12 Business Consulting Inc.’s findings on the hiring of a new Kettering City Schools superintendent came after two days of forums attended by 199 participants March 30-31. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

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K-12 Business Consulting Inc.’s findings on the hiring of a new Kettering City Schools superintendent came after two days of forums attended by 199 participants March 30-31. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

About 200 people participated in focus groups on the topic; deadline for applicants is next week

KETTERING — Five out of six Kettering City Schools groups rated the same criterion as the top characteristic they want in a new superintendent, a consultant’s profile shows.

Someone who will deal fairly with faculty, staff, students and parents earned the highest ranking among 10 attributes listed in the survey by K-12 Business Consulting Inc.

Board of education members, administrators, teachers, community members and parents, and high school students all listed that quality as most important in hiring a successor to Superintendent Scott Inskeep, who is retiring Aug. 1.

The one group surveyed recently that differed, school support staff, said that characteristic was its second most important, the profile shows.

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Kettering school board President Toby Henderson said the 10-page profile didn’t surprise him.

“Specifically, the attributes that have been identified by the various constituents as far as what would be ideal for the next superintendent aligned, by and large, (with) what I understand the board’s general thinking to be,” he said.

“So there’s nothing in the report that caught me by surprise or stood out as something that I wasn’t expecting to read,” Henderson added

Those in the school district also want someone with strong interpersonal and public relations skills, personal involvement and interest in the community, and an administrator effective at creating a vision for the district who possesses high organizational and management skills, according to the profile.

Half of the groups — board members, support staff, and community and parents — rated successful experience as a superintendent in the top five, and none listed it higher than third, according to the report.

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Teachers and high school students both ranked it eighth.

“The new superintendent will need to be visibly active in the school buildings and in the community,” the report states. “He/she must embrace the traditional values that are evident in the district as well as the strong sense of community that exists.

“Communication by the new leader must include ways to engage the staff, parents, and community,” according to the profile. “The new leader must be an experienced administrator who is sincere, approachable, and collaborative, and able to demonstrate trustworthiness and integrity.”

The profile was compiled after K-12 conducted two days of community forums. The March 30-31 focus groups were attended by 199 people, and 175 filled out surveys, the report states.

The superintendent application deadline is April 20, according to the district.

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The school board will review applicants and pick six to eight for first-round interviews, said Debbie Campbell of K-12.

Those interviews are scheduled for May 4-5, with finalists returning the following week, according to the district.

The targeted timeline for the board to vote on hiring is mid-May, Campbell said.

The base salary range is expected to be between $175,000 and $199,000 annually, but is negotiable based on experience and qualifications, records show.

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