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Superintendent search coming down to wire

April 26, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

The field is narrowing and the finish line is approaching in the search for a new school superintendent for Canfield Local School District. The field was narrowed to the top five on Monday, April 16.

Canfield School District's business manager Rich Archer, said when the search began there were roughly 50 candidates. The district went through the Mahoning County Education Service Center and an organization called Finding Leaders to narrow the field to 14 last month. Those 14 were then extensively interviewed to see who would meet specific criteria that was formulated for the search.

"The group (from MCESC and Finding Leaders) spent time with focus groups of staff, administrators, booster organizations and community members," Archer said. "They put together what each group wanted to see in a new superintendent, then came up with Golden Strands to highlight the main things the focus groups were after."

The focus group's demands and the interviews helped narrow the field to five. This week, the Board of Education began intense interviews with each of the five with the intent to narrow the choices to the top two.

Archer said the final two will then come before a "stakeholders group" comprised of a teacher, a member of the support staff, a community member, a student and the administration. Each of those five will have been selected by the members of the particular group they represented. Those five will then have one evening to interview one of the remaining candidates. The next day, the other will take the hot seat.

Archer said the "stakeholder group" interviews will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. May 8 and 9. At this point, Archer is considering holding it at the high school gymnasium. He said the five stakeholders will be presenting the questions from a table on the gym floor. The candidate will be sitting across the table.

Administrators will take the first row of bleacher seats, then the community will be permitted to fill in behind them.

"Only the five stakeholders members will be allowed to ask questions," Archer said.

Following the questioning, the candidate will be taken on a tour of the school buildings, district and community.

After May 9, the Board of Education will then take roughly a week to decide which candidate they want. That decision will be announced at the May 16 Board of Education meeting.

Archer said the selected candidate will then have roughly two months to work with retiring Superintendent Dante Zambrini, whose last day will be July 31.



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