Mercer Island school board to expand search for new superintendent

At the March 9 Mercer Island School Board meeting, Board President David D’Souza said that after reviewing internal candidates, the board will move forward with a broader superintendent search, “using a formal process that will involve input from a variety of stakeholders.”

On Jan. 19, Superintendent Gary Plano announced he will retire on June 30, and the Board began its efforts to find the next superintendent.

“Over the past seven weeks, we have held special meetings, in executive session to review the performance of current employees and evaluate the qualifications of internal candidates for a new superintendent,” D’Souza said. “At this time, however, I do not believe that selecting an internal candidate to start work on July 1, 2017 is a viable option. Opportunity, timing and readiness must converge for us to fill this leadership role and that did not happen.”

The Board will procure the services of a search firm to guide it through the process of finding a new superintendent, D’Souza said on March 23.

The Board is currently interviewing firms and is hoping to select one in April to help it find an interim superintendent by June 30, and then a permanent superintendent.

D’Souza recommended starting a school district public web page with information about these efforts and to share schedules, key dates and progress, to reflect information shared and discussed at public Board meetings for easy access by the community.

“I think we are all excited to begin this journey and look forward to interacting with the community and stakeholders to find the best superintendent for the Mercer Island School District,” he said. “We’re an incredibly compelling district with our strong community, our shared values toward education, thriving students, and a brilliant and highly functioning group of teachers and staff.”

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