Ky Board of Ed to Define Characteristics for Next Ed Commissioner
May hire search firm as early as today
This from Brad Hughes at KSBA:
Louisville – Members of the Kentucky Board of Education are crafting a set of candidate criteria as they take the first steps to finding a successor to retiring Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday.
Meeting in Louisville, the KBE is spending Thursday morning on an initial set of what discussion facilitator and former Commissioner Gene Wilhoit called a series of “descriptors” to initiate the search process.
“These are very important. Setting these criteria is the first message you are sending to the public and to potential candidates,” said Wilhoit, who now works as director of the University of Kentucky’s National Center for Innovation in Education.
KBE Chairman Roger Marcum said the state board’s skill set priorities for the next commissioner will then be shared with the public for its input.
Right off the bat, KBE members made it clear that candidates hoping to follow Holliday must possess strong communications skills, both as a message deliverer and as a listener. Bill Twyman of Glasgow said being a skilled communicator will be a key to ensuring that the next commissioner must be able to lead while earning support of front-line educators.
“We need someone who can bring the troops along. It’s great to have vision, but he needs to bring the troops with him,” Twyman said.
Marcum agreed, adding that the next commissioner will have to address teacher and principal “implementation fatigue.” Both groups of educators are under heavy pressure tied to state assessment tests and the new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) evaluation process.
“Our next (commissioner) must balance between laisse faire and continuing to move the progress agenda forward,” Marcum said. “One of our greatest challenges is to find a leader who can strike that balance.”
Upon agreeing to its draft of candidate characteristics, the state board will interview one or more headhunter firms it may hire to assist with the search process. If a hire takes place today, afternoon discussions will focus on the timeline and scope of the process, including possible identification of potential candidates.
Holliday is to retire Aug. 31.