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Plymouth-Canton Prepares for Superintendent Search

District looks to establish timeline, guidelines for successor to Jeremy Hughes.

The Board of Education likely will again enlist a consulting firm to help find its next superintendent at an estimated price tag of between $25,000-$30,000.

Board members laid the groundwork at a special meeting Tuesday for the process it will take to find a replacement for Superintendent Jeremy Hughes, who is under contract through June 2013. Hughes has indicated he isn't interested in pursuing the job on a longer-term basis. The board is looking to have a new superintendent start by July 1, 2013.

The board members reached a consensus that a three-person subcommittee will be established to develop a shortlist of search firms to help review  — or even recruit — candidates.

Board member Barry Simescu said the board used a subcommittee during its previous search and it proved effective.

Board member Mark Horvath also advocated developing a “Plan B,” or interim option to pursue an interim superintendent if no suitable candidates emerge as finalists. He also advocated establishing guidelines on when such a plan could be considered. Such circumstances led to the hiring of Hughes in 2011. The board hopes to have an interim superintendent in place by May 1, 2013, if that option is pursued.

Board member Judy Mardigian agreed with establishing the plan for an interim.

“If we don’t have good enough candidates, we’re not backing ourselves into a corner,” she said.

Horvath also said the board must establish firm dates to meet certain objectives during the search process, and determine whether the hiring will be based on a unanimous or majority vote.

Board member Mike Maloney said the board also should build a profile of what it wants in a superintendent before a firm is selected to expedite the search process.

“If we do it ahead of time, it will shorten the overall process,” he said.

Hughes began  in May 2011 to replace Craig Fiegel after the board voted to  in 2010. Hughes extended his contract in October 2012 to help provide the district consistency as it navigated through major changes such as as part of its redistricting plans.

Projected timeline for superintendent search

  • Finalist interviews with school board begin Feb. 23, 2013
  • Candidate visits site with board subcommittee begin on March 29, 2013
  • Board reviews site visit information, April 11, 2013
  • Board selects candidate, April 17, 2013
  • Contract negotiations parameters established by board, Feb. 3, 2013
  • Contract negotiations begin, April 17, 2013
  • Board approval, May 14, 2013
  • New superintendent begins work, July 1, 2013

Projected timeline for interim search

  • Board decides on need for interim, Feb. 3, 2013
  • Board and search firm identify interim candidates, Feb. 9, 2013
  • Board and search firm interview interim candidates, Feb. 22, 2013
  • Contract negotiations begin for interim candidate, March 21, 2013
  • Interim superintendent begins work, May 1, 2013

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