Superintendent Search

Appointment of New Superintendent

Piedmont’s Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of the next Superintendent of schools, Randall Booker. Randy Booker currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, and previously served as Principal at Piedmont High School. Mr. Booker will begin serving as Superintendent starting on July 1, 2015.

The process of selecting the next Superintendent was truly a community effort. The Board of Education is grateful to all of the over 400 students, parents, educators, administrators, and community members who contributed their ideas and opinions to the search process. Their input was an invaluable guide for the Board in the process to reaching a unanimous agreement on this appointment.

This input indicated that the next Superintendent must have a clear vision of how to build on Piedmont’s legacy of educational excellence, and the proven skills and experience to implement effective change. The input also provided a blueprint for the role of the Superintendent: to listen to and effectively represent the interests of all constituents; to foster a positive professional climate of mutual trust and respect among staff and administrators; to recruit and retain highly qualified personnel; and to effectively plan and manage the long-term financial health of the District.

The Board conducted a nation-wide search and received 45 applications for the Superintendent position that included several exceptional applicants. The Board interviewed seven candidates, and conducted additional interviews with three finalists. The Board sought the most qualified candidate who is the best match for this District. After a thorough search and selection process, and in consideration of substantial input received from the community, the Board unanimously concluded that the clear choice for Piedmont is Randall Booker. The Board found that Mr. Booker has a unique combination of experience, skills, and values that will serve and enhance opportunities for all of our students. Also, the Board was impressed with Randy’s dedication to listen to all viewpoints, solve problems, and communicate effectively with all stakeholders. It is not surprising that Mr. Booker is already well-known and well-respected among many in the Piedmont community.

Mr. Booker’s vision as Superintendent for the Piedmont schools includes:

  • A renewed, broad, and inclusive community engagement concerning District goals and priorities, including dialogue with students, parents, educators, and staff.
  • An exemplary 21st century education that is rigorously inquiry-driven, learner-centered, and sensitive to the social/emotional needs of our students.
  • A relevant and coordinated professional learning plan, across all educational programs, designed to foster a growth mindset that builds capacity in each of our educators.
  • A comprehensive facilities review that addresses the need for updated, flexible learning spaces and needed improvements to the appearance of District facilities and grounds.
  • A Local Control Accountability Plan that strategically directs educational program and promotes a balanced budget through the continued partnerships of our community and educators.

The Board is grateful to all who contributed their ideas and opinions to the search process, and helped guide the Board in making this appointment. Randall Booker will succeed Superintendent Constance Hubbard, who has served as Piedmont’s Superintendent for more than 12 years. Some of Connie’s most notable accomplishments include: attracting, retaining and developing outstanding educators and staff; shepherding the District through an unprecedented State-wide educational funding crisis; modernizing technology infrastructure; and completing, on time and on budget, seismic safety improvements to all school facilities.

Invitation to Meeting & Reception for New Superintendent

Piedmont’s Board of Education is thrilled and honored to announce the appointment of the next Superintendent of schools at its next regular meeting, on March 25, at 6:00 pm in the City Chambers.  Immediately following the meeting, which is expected to end by 6:45, there will be a community reception to welcome the appointee, who will begin serving as Superintendent starting on July 1, 2015.  All are invited and encouraged to attend to welcome our new Superintendent.

The process of selecting the next Superintendent was truly a community effort.  The Board of Education is grateful to all the over 400 students, parents, educators, administrators, and community members who contributed their ideas and opinions to the search process. Their input was an invaluable guide for the Board in the process to reaching a unanimous agreement on this appointment.

The next Superintendent will succeed Superintendent Constance Hubbard, who has served as Piedmont’s Superintendent for more than 12 years.  Some of Connie’s most notable accomplishments include: attracting, retaining and developing outstanding educators and staff; shepherding the District through an unprecedented State-wide educational funding crisis; modernizing technology infrastructure; and completing, on time and on budget, seismic safety improvements to all school facilities.

Board of Education Update 3-16-15

The board has conducted its schedule of first and second round interviews, HYA has provided background reference materials on all the selected interviewees and we are now in the final stages of concluding our proceedings.  We plan to make a formal announcement at the regularly scheduled March 25 board meeting. We continue to ask for your patience in this final but sensitive period in the process.

Update from School Board Meeting 2-24-15

The PUSD board met in a special session on February 24 as part of the ongoing superintendent search. In open session HYA advisors Barbara Young and Bill Levinson reviewed logistics and protocols for the upcoming candidate interviews. The board will conduct two days of formal interviews next week. From that group, we will narrow the field and move on to a second set of interviews the following week.

In closed session board members were given our first briefing on the pool of candidates. Forty-five completed applications were submitted by candidates from eight states. It is a diverse group with a broad range of degrees and areas of expertise. Our consultants conducted interviews with 14 of those candidates, narrowed down the list, and gave us detailed briefs of the slate of candidates they identified as most qualified for the position.

The board has been reminded of the need for absolute confidentiality as regards our pool of candidates. We thank you for your understanding and confidence in the process.

Superintendent Search Update 2-23-15

This week is an exciting one for the board in our process to identify and retain a new superintendent. The board will hold a special Board meeting Tuesday February 24, much of which will involve the search process. The open segment will review how we intend to proceed with the interview portion of the search and protocols required in that process. In closed session, we will hear from our consultants about the slate of candidates they propose we move to the next stage.

Now begins the hard part. We have a formal document that outlines the overall job description for the superintendent of a California school district. This document is part of PUSD Board Policy.  We also must look for and balance those characteristics which we, as a school community, have determined are requisite to succeed in Piedmont. And finally, we need to incorporate any intangibles which we believe will contribute to the success of our selection and the continued excellence of our school district.

The board is excited to begin this phase of the search. We are buoyed by the support  of our community and guided by our obligation of stewardship in this vital choice. Thank you.

 Update from School Board Meeting 2-11-15

Last night, the PUSD school board reviewed and approved the following characteristics for the superintendent to be hired in the next few months. We appreciate the candid input from all the participants and look forward to a successful completion of the search.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH PROFILE

DESIRED CHARACTERISTICS

The following is based on information received from the Board of Trustees, staff, parents, students and community through individual and focus group interviews as well as the online survey. Items are listed in alphabetical order.

The Board of the Piedmont Unified School District seeks an exceptional educational leader who demonstrates the ability to:

  • Address the programmatic needs of special needs students (special education and gifted) and parents; provide professional development and education
  • Administer the District effectively and efficiently with a collaborative and inclusive leadership style fostering mutual trust and respect
  • Attract, retain and support the highest quality District personnel: evaluate and hold staff accountable
  • Bring individuals and groups together to identify common ground, forge a consensus and develop an actionable plan; move the District in new directions to achieve Board identified goals
  • Communicate clearly and honestly with all individuals and groups; use social media to reach and hear from the broadest array of constituents
  • Define a vision of academic excellence for all students in a supportive environment; value the importance of balancing high academic performance with student well-being
  • Develop a comprehensive facilities master plan identifying funding options
  • Implement Common Core, recognizing the need to innovate and change while valuing existing excellence and tradition; look beyond the District for new ideas and exceptional practice
  • Lead strategic planning process, setting goals and developing implementation strategies, with maximum parent, staff and community participation
  • Provide strong innovative leadership to an outstanding, high performing K-12 district
  • Serve as “face of the district” with the media and press, strengthening ties to the community members without children in the District
  • Use technology to enhance student instruction and learning; demonstrate a strong commitment to STEM as part of the curriculum for all students
  • Work collaboratively with all employee groups; provide professional development opportunities aligned to the District’s goals
  • Work effectively with a highly capable and dedicated Board; maintain a collaborative and productive relationship with the City of Piedmont
  • Work positively with an increasingly diverse parent, student body, and community

 Characteristics of the New Superintendent:

  • A collaborative leader, comfortable making difficult decisions based on “what’s best for kids”
  • Approachable with a sense of humor
  • Clear vision of educational excellence; skilled in presenting and implementing the vision
  • Curricular and instructional leadership expertise and knowledge with demonstrated accomplishments in previous work experiences
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in political advocacy
  • Empathic person of the highest integrity
  • Experience and comfort working in a small, high performing district with highly involved and supportive parents and community
  • Fiscal management and planning skills, expertise and experience: parcel tax, bonds, foundation, parent clubs and city partnerships
  • Learns about the District and community history, culture and practice before initiating major change
  • Skilled communicator and receptive listener who represents the interests and concerns of the District’s constituents
  • Visible and engaged presence in schools, classrooms and community: likes kids!

 School Board Members Respond to Local Press

As trustees of PUSD, we appreciate the role of the local press as an independent reporter on our work and that of the district. Checks and balances are necessary. But today we are frustrated that a great deal of information about our superintendent search process, printed in the local press, has been inaccurate.

Over the last few months, the search process for a new superintendent has been characterized as “rushed”, “busted”, signaling “a new breach in public trust” complete with “conflict of interest”, “failure of disclosure” and having “fallen short of promoting community engagement.” This vitriol is damaging to the process and misleading to the community.

Immediately following Superintendent Hubbard’s retirement announcement, the board identified key school and community leaders—Paul Benoit, Carol Cramer, Ray Gadbois, Katie Korotzer—to join school board members Doug Ireland and Sarah Pearson on a sub-committee to select an executive search firm. We learned there is a unique recruiting “season”. It was in the community’s best interests to start ahead of the annual rush of other competing districts also seeking new leadership.

Feedback from our community about the characteristics and abilities important in a new superintendent emerged when national search firm, HYA & Associates, spent four days in over 40 separate meetings with 146 stakeholders. The number of respondents to the online survey was 482. More at www.http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/blog/2015/01/27/superintendent-search-by-the-numbers/.

At the February 11 board meeting, our consultants will present the Leadership Profile Report based on the input from community meetings and the online survey. We will hear, for the first time, the names of qualified candidates at the February 24 special board meeting.

Because we take our charge to find the best superintendent for our school district extremely seriously, we can no longer stand silent while the local newspaper maligns the process. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.  This inference and innuendo of impropriety is damaging and reflects poorly on our community.

Piedmont Board of Education:
Andrea Swenson, President
Sarah Pearson, Vice President
Doug Ireland, Board Member
Rick Raushenbush, Board Member
Amal Smith, Board Member


Update from School Board 2-3-15

As we start February, here is where the process stands from the Board’s vantage point. We will continue to update the district website and the Portal.

On Feb. 11, we will review the Profile report and characteristics from HYA which will be posted to the website. Feedback and comments will be included. To be clear, we aim to attract highly qualified candidates.  And we also believe highly qualified candidates may emerge from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds. We intend to find the best available talent for our district.

 Screening interviews will be conducted by HYA Feb.13 and 17 to narrow the field based on our agreed criteria. By Feb. 24, a slate of qualified, screened candidates will be presented to the Board. First round Board interviews will begin shortly thereafter. The field will be narrowed again to culminate in a decision by the end of March.

When we did our homework about searches, it was clear there is a unique recruiting “season” to the educational profession. Recognizing this, we moved quickly following Superintendent Hubbard’s announcement by naming a board subcommittee, forming a city wide search committee, hiring a search firm and setting a preliminary schedule. As there are now six known superintendent vacancies in Northern California alone, with more likely in the coming weeks, we are glad to have acted expeditiously. And we remain confident our early and organized approach has positioned us to attract and secure a great new superintendent.

 Thank you for your ongoing interest and participation.

SUPERINTENDENT  SEARCH
BY THE NUMBERS

Total number of people interviewed by our consultants:
 146  in 40+ separate meetings over 4 days

The breakout of stakeholder groups was as follows:
Current School Board  5
Community Members 35
Parents 45
Students  6
PUSD Administration 12
Teachers 23
Support Staff 20


Total number of responses to the SURVEY: 482

The breakout of stakeholder groups was as follows:
Current and Former School Board  11
Community Members  74
Parents 290
Students   7
PUSD Administration   5
Teachers  68
Support Staff  27

Total number of people providing comments in the survey 251

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedule to help us with this!
– Piedmont School Board

Update on Superintendent Search 1-23-15

It was an extremely active and productive week in the superintendent search. HYA partners, Bill Levinson and Barbara Young conducted interviews and hosted over 40 meetings with various school and community groups exploring key characteristics for the new superintendent as well as gathering input on the perceived qualities and challenges of the district. Thanks to them and all of you who participated.

There is still time to contribute opinions and suggestions to the consulting team as it was decided to extend the survey period. Originally scheduled to close today, the deadline was extended to this Sunday Jan.25 in recognition of busy post-holiday schedules and the long Martin Luther King holiday and semester break. To access the survey, click here.

The next steps will be for the HYA team to collate the input from the surveys and the interviews to create their Leadership profile of our model superintendent. That profile will be delivered at the Feb.11 Board of Ed meeting. From there, they will narrow down the candidates for review by the Board with subsequent interviews of the qualified applicants. The full calendar of events is available on the PUSD website.

Thank you all for your active participation and we look forward to a successful outcome.

Update on Superintendent Search  1-20-15

With the survey having opened Monday of this week, we are happy to share some preliminary numbers with the community. We have received roughly 378 completed surveys and another hundred are in progress or unfinished. The cross section of contributors includes parents, staff, teachers, students, and community members who are not parents. As would be expected, parents represent more than 200 of the early movers. We are delighted with the participation and encourage more from all parties.

The survey is a critical step to help the consultants formulate a profile of the key characteristics the community is seeking from its new school leadership.  In addition to ranking those skills you think most essential, there is room for personal comment and candidate recommendations.We will have a busy week around the district with Bill and Barbara from HYA Search Associates in town Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We have arranged meetings across the district to get more direct input from various community constituents. Number one on that list is the community-wide event at 7:00 at the PHS student center Wednesday night, January 21. Everyone is invited to participate in this community forum.

Participate in Online Survey

The Board would like to seek your input on the desired characteristics and skills that you would like to see in the next superintendent. Please share your thoughts by responding to the survey linked below. As you respond, please remember that all characteristics listed on the survey are desirable, but we are interested in knowing your perceptions about which characteristics are “most important” for Piedmont Unified School District.

To access the survey please click on the link below. The survey deadline has been extended to the evening of Sunday, January 25, 2015www.ecrasurvey.com/piedmont

Thank you for taking the time to respond. The Board appreciates your willingness to participate and looks forward to learning your perspective.

In addition please calendar Wednesday, January 21 for a community forum that HYA will facilitate at 7:00 PM in the Piedmont High School Student Center. We will also welcome input at the February 11 School Board meeting when HYA presents their leadership profile report to the Board.

Calendar for Superintendent Search

Advertising:
EdCal Advertisement                                       January 12th, 19th, & 26th
EdWeek, AASA, EdJoin                                  January 7th-12th (approx.)

Online Survey                                                 January 12th- 25th
To access the survey, click here. It will be available until January 25 and is intended to create a comprehensive superintendent profile. It  consists of 25 leadership characteristics and a section for comments and recommendations of possible candidates. Results will be provided by subgroups: students, parents, teachers, support staff, community and Board members.

Leadership Profile Interviews                 January 21st, 22nd & 23rd
A key step in this process is to identify the characteristics the consultants will be seeking in our new superintendent. The following key stakeholders will  be interviewed by Barbara Young and Bill Levinson from HYA. Individuals and groups include but are not limited to:
o School Board Members
o Superintendent
o District Administrators and District Office Staff
o School Administrators
o Certificated Staff
o Classified Staff
o Parent Club Leadership
o Support Club Leadership
o Praise Leadership
o Piedmont Ed Foundation Board
o City Leadership
o Former School Board Members
o High School Students

Open Forum                                                           January 21st  – 7:00 p.m.
The School Board would greatly appreciate your input and assistance to identify the characteristics the consultants will be seeking in our new superintendent. We, therefore, invite anyone interested to participate in this process by attending. This forum, which will be facilitated by a member of our consultant firm, will be  held on Wednesday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the PHS Student Center.

Leadership Profile Report to the Board      February 11 School Board Meeting

Candidate Screening Interviews                     February 13th & 17th

Special Meeting of the Board                           February 24th
Interview Workshop (open session)
Slate Presentation (closed session)

Board First Interviews                                         March 6th & 7th
Consultants Debrief with Board                               March 7th

Board Second Interviews                                   March 12th, 13th, 14th
Consultants Debrief with Board                              March 15th

Site Visit to Home District of Finalist              March 17th-20th
Two Board Members Visit Home Site of Finalist

Superintendent Appointment                          March 25th School Board Meeting

Board Planning Workshop

 Superintendent Search Calendar

Superintendent Search Planning Meeting 12-18-14

Proposal for Search Process from HYA Search Associates

Timeline for Search Process

Search Firm Selection

Superintendent Announces Retirement at Close of School Year

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