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Want to be superintendent? First, a few questions



The Pinellas School Board has moved one step closer to selecting a new superintendent. On Tuesday, board members crafted 16 questions for the five finalists chosen last week from 36 applicants.

Each of the finalists, all from Florida districts, will have 90 minutes to expound on issues like student achievement and teacher morale when they meet with board members Aug. 27. The next day, the board will meet with each of them in private sessions.

The candidates are Alberto M. Carvalho, an associate superintendent from Miami-Dade schools; Nicholas M. Gledich, chief operations officer for Orange County schools, based in Orlando; Julie Janssen, the interim Pinellas superintendent; Barbara M. Jenkins, chief of staff with Orange County schools; and Sherrie Nickell, an associate superintendent for Polk County schools.

Here are the questions, worded the way they will be read to the finalists.

1. Please share with us about your personal and professional background as it prepares you for this position.  Why are you interested in joining us in Pinellas County?

2. What do you see as your three most significant leadership qualities?  Please share with us how each has been exemplified in actual practice.

3. What are the most pressing issues that you have identified in Pinellas and how would you address them?

- Donna Winchester, Times education reporter

4. You have received a draft copy of our district’s Strategic Plan.  As superintendent, how would you monitor and evaluate programs, as well as provide accountability?

5. How will you further our efforts to improve student achievement?  Please address the achievement gap and graduation rates.

6. Please share with us your philosophy on career education.  How will you go about incorporating career education into the system?

7. In order to maintain a high performing workforce, what will you do to continually improve employee morale?

8. Please share with us your thoughts on site-based management.

9. Should you become our superintendent, how would you assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the district?  How would you determine the strengths of the district?  How would you build on those strengths?

10. What strategies would you employ to recruit and retain teachers and administrators?
How would you address a leadership succession plan?

11. As superintendent, what steps would you take to develop and maintain a strong leadership team relationship between yourself and the school board members?

12. Communication is a challenge for any district and a huge issue in a large district.  How will you improve communication in Pinellas County?

13. Ideally, what should be the relationship among parents, the community and the public schools?  Share with us specific examples of how you will increase the participation of parents and the broader community in Pinellas schools.

14. As superintendent, there will be many competing demands for your time from many individuals and organizations throughout the community.  How will you prioritize your time?  What opportunities will you look at in order to become visible in the schools and the community? 

15. What has been your biggest accomplishment in your career?

16. Is there anything else you would like to share with us to support your candidacy?

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:52am]


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