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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Should Pinellas do another superintendent search?



That's been the question on some minds since the July 2 deadline to apply for Pinellas County superintendent passed.

Community members haven't been thrilled about the results of the search done by the Florida School Boards Association. Some have suggested that the timing of the search - coming after other major Florida school districts - and the poor economy factored into the results. Others, including the Pinellas Education Foundation, had pushed for a national search done by a professional recruiting firm.

Board members will decide Tuesday during their workshop whether to select finalists from among the 50 applicants or do another search. It's not clear how hard board members have been lobbied to go out again. They did receive an email Friday from Mitch Vigeveno, a board member of the Pinellas Education Foundation, suggesting that the recent search wasn't an "executive search." The email was forwarded to the school board by Terry Boehm, foundation president.

Here's the email:

"It appears to me from the information that you passed on that all the applicants for the Superintendent position were obtained by placing ads and having people respond. As an experienced executive search professional, I can tell you that this is not executive search. A good executive search process seeks to proactively contact top performers, the passive candidates, who are not actively looking for a position but, if properly approached, may give it serious consideration. As such we are only looking at a slice of the talent that may be available. I realize that some candidates may have contract issues to work through but these may not be insurmountable. A good search firm in this space will have a candidate database to approach and will actively contact top performing suspects for this position as well as get referrals to others. Please pass my thoughts on to whoever you think will be concerned and take action to find the other half of the candidates who have not yet heard of this opportunity because they are not actively looking at job boards.  Thanks."

What do you think? Should the board select and interview finalists from this applicant pool? Should another search be done?

[Last modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 10:31am]


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