District No. 32 School Board consults with MSBA on search

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The Perry County District No. 32 School Board of Education took the next steps in their superintendent search. The board met with Missouri School Board Association consultant Dr. Steve Brotherton to discuss the process in which Brotherton will assist the district in finding a replacement for current district superintendent Andy Comstock in a special meeting held Nov. 17.
Comstock announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year in October. The board will look for and hire a suitable candidate in this process. That person would be deemed a deputy superintendent and learn the inner workings of the district with the hopes of becoming the permanent replacement for Comstock when he eventually retires.
Brotherton presented the board with a six step process to help the district find a suitable replacement.
Brotherton noted a key fact for the board to start off the meeting.
“In the last five years, 70 percent of initial candidates that have been found through MSBA are still in their positions,” he said. “That’s pretty important because we are seeing a lot of turnover right now. I think it’s an indicator that we are finding good people.”
The board will undergo a needs assessment first that will identify exactly what the board is looking for in its potential candidates. Members of the board will be tasked with filling out a survey and all the information will be collected.
“I want to find the right fit for your district,” Brotherton said. “You might be looking for a person with a specific skill and that can vary from district to district. Maybe someone good with budget or facilities.”
From here the next step will be recruiting, where the group will work on the job posting and brochures that will be distributed throughout the state.
“We want to recruit the most robust people for the position,” Brotherton said.
Brotherton will then set up interviews with the candidates that satisfy the needs of the board through the recruitment process.
“I will meet with you after the interviews,” Brotherton said. “I will give you my recommendation and put them into three categories: green, yellow and red. The green will be the ones with high potential and the yellow will have some potential, but might have a question mark. Red is some I won’t recommend. However, I will never be the one that makes the final decision, I’m just making recommendations.”
From those candidates that Brotheron has deemed to have potential, the board will interview those people individually. In most circumstances the interviews will last more than one hour and features several questions.
“There are some districts that feel there is a candidate that is head and shoulders above everyone else and you really don’t need a second or third round of interviews,” Brotherton said.
Once the board finds its person, they will work with the district attorney to work on the contractual portion and then set up workshops to build a relationship with the district and the board.
Brotherton made a point that he wants the applicants to completely understand that this is a deputy superintendent position and has the potential to become the district’s full-time superintendent.
“I want people to know that this isn’t just an assistant superintendent position,” Brotherton said. “We went the ‘deputy’ route to give it more gravitas and we have to convey that.”
The next regular school board meeting is Dec. 8.

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