School board defines superintendent position

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Hancock School Board member Catherine Jordan sought to clarify the qualifications of the ideal superintendent candidate during Friday’s special meeting

HANCOCK — The Hancock School Board met in special session at noon Friday. Among the agenda items was a discussion on what qualifications they are looking for in a superintendent, along with what skill sets would be of value to the office, the school, and the district as a whole.

While one of the qualifications suggested was experience with budgets, it was also suggested that grant writing experience also be included.

Board member Catherine Jordan said that administrative experience is important, as well.

She said she did not feel that the board was strong enough to provide a lot of guidance to a new superintendent with what the position entails.

“I mean, we do,” she added, “but it would be nice to have someone come in who has that experience.”

Mary Babcock asked how important is to the board to consider educational background, and whether that should include teaching experience.

Jordan said that while it is not necessarily high on her priority list, she said it would be a plus if the next superintendent had some background in, and experience with, general education curriculum, as well as special education experience.

“If somebody had some background and experience with K-12 curriculum,” said Jordan, “somebody who has experience, possibly, with special (education) matters, like IEPs, best practices for the teachers, and things like that; and somebody who has a desire, and maybe the personality, to build community within our school.

“I think that Hancock Public Schools has lacked that component of ‘a day in the life of a Hancock Public Schools student,’ is having that sense of community within our buildings. That sense of belonging and identity beyond athletics. ‘I’m a Bulldog academically, because I persevere.’ You know, all those types of things.”

Board President Dale Kero concurred, saying that while putting signs in windows and front yards shows Bulldog Pride, those signs have not gone far enough, because Bulldog Pride should go beyond just athletics.

When the topic of education level and being certified was discussed, Kero said that as far as certification, the new hire must legally be eligible, and has a six-month-period after the hire date to enroll for certification if they are not already certified. As far as education level, Kero said a bachelor’s or master’s degree should not be a first priority.

“I’m of the frame of mind,” Kero said, “that people’s work experience is just as important as, sometimes more important than, degrees that they have on their wall. If you had everything equal, and somebody had a master’s degree and a certificate, and six years’ superintendent experience and everything else was equal, then you go back and look at those things that brings people above that.”

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