Bellevue School District Superintendent Search Process

Board Votes to Offer Contract to Dr. Tim Mills


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Applications for the position closed Monday, April 30. On Tuesday, May 1, the School Board heard from search firm McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. on the results of the recruitment process. Al Cohen and Mike Boring with McPherson & Jacobson reported to the Board that the District had received 20 completed applications. Over 30 candidates expressed interest and 20 applicants followed through to complete the extensive application form. The Board held an executive session to discuss the applicants. McPherson & Jacobson will proceed with background and reference checks on the 20 applicants. The Board will discuss the applicant pool in their May 15 executive session. If the Board determines they would like to do semi-finalist interviews with candidates, those will likely occur on May 19. The Board passed a motion to refrain from discussing applicants publicly until a list of finalists is announced. Finalist interviews are tentatively scheduled for May 22, 23 and 24. The schedule for finalist interviews will include morning and evening community forums to allow parents, staff and community time to meet, observe and hear from the candidates. The details for the day-long finalist interviews are being finalized and updates will be posted on this page.

Wednesday, March 15, 2012

The Bellevue School Board met in a special board meeting Wednesday night to discuss next steps in the superintendent search process including selecting a superintendent search firm. The board heard a presentation from McPherson & Jacobson LLC, a national search firm with local individuals from Washington State who could handle the Bellevue search.  Dr. Mike Boring served as Superintendent of the Bainbridge Island, White Pass and Chehalis school districts and served as deputy superintendent in several other districts in Washington State.  Dr. Al Cohen served as Superintendent of the Olympia School District, interim Superintendent in Clover Park, and also worked in the Seattle and Northshore school districts. Board President Paul Mills reported that national search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates will not be requesting to be considered at this time. The board voted unanimously to select McPherson & Jacobson to handle the superintendent search and authorized interim Superintendent Eva Collins to sign a contract for services.  The Board voted unanimously to appoint Paul Mills to act as the Board liaison to work with McPherson on details of the search.  McPherson will work to develop recruitment materials to launch a search immediately.  


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

School Board members discussed the Superintendent Search process and next steps at their March 6 regular board meeting.  One candidate the Board had previously determined to offer an accelerated interview has been hired by another district.  Following deliberation on the timeline and contracting with a search firm, members directed Board President Paul Mills to reach out to two search firms to schedule a presentation and interview by each firm so that all Board members could meet with representatives from the two firms.  The search firms being considered are Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a national search firm who previously worked with the District in 2008, and McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C., a national search firm that represents and conducts executive searches for Washington State School Directors’ Association.  The Board will schedule a special board meeting once Mills is able to schedule the interviews and presentations with the two firms.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Bellevue School Board met in a special board meeting Monday evening (2/27) to discuss details of a superintendent interview process for final candidates.  The Board also finalized the ‘Desired Characteristics’ for a superintendent, which were updated with information gained from community input and now posted on the superintendent search page on the district web site.  A candidate the board previously decided to offer an accelerated interview process to, Susan Enfield, has accepted a superintendent position with the Highline School District.  The board will discuss next steps in their search process for a new superintendent at their upcoming school board meeting on Tuesday, March 6.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Members of the Bellevue School Board met Thursday, February 23, 2012 in a special board meeting to update the evaluation criteria (Desired Superintendent Characteristics) based on the community input received, and to develop a defined interview process for candidates for the superintendent vacancy.  The board reviewed and discussed summaries of comments received from public e-mails to the board and public feedback from four community input sessions.  The board used the 2008 document of desired characteristics as a starting point for public conversations on what additional factors should be added and considered.  Based on that feedback, the board developed an updated draft selection criteria the board will use as a guide when conducting board interviews and evaluation of superintendent candidates. 

The board discussed and adopted a two-day final interview process for each candidate considered that will include a schedule of  facilitated stakeholder forums with business and community members, parents, teachers, staff, principals, students, and administrators and utilize a 14-member Community Observer Panel to provide feedback to the board.  The Community Observer Panel will consist of representatives of teachers, classified staff, Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), Parent Action & Advisory Committee (PAAC), business, city government and others.  Each forum will include feedback forms for stakeholders to fill out and provide to the board.  After the two day process, the board will deliberate and discuss the candidate in closed session.

The board will hold a special board meeting Monday, February 27 at 5:00 pm at the Wilburton Instructional Service Center (WISC) in the Rainier Room to develop the feedback form questions, finalize interview questions the board will be asking, and protocols for board interview questions.  In addition, the board will have a second and final reading of “Desired Superintendent Characteristics,” and discuss any missing pieces from the interview and selection process, next steps and revisiting a prior motion if timing elements change.  The board has committed to have feedback and a process posted on the district web site superintendent search page by Monday, February 27.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Bellevue School Board has finished four days of meetings with the public to gather comments on additional considerations for the desired characteristics in the next superintendent.   Public input sessions were held where parents, teachers and community members shared input on the desired characteristics, as well as the search process.  Comments on additional characteristics to be considered included (but not limited to) an understanding of Bellevue and its strengths and challenges, working smoothly with teachers, understanding of issues faced by students and parents in minority communities and those living in poverty,  appreciation of art education and more.  Comments on the search process ranged from encouraging the board to consider a former superintendent finalist from the 2008 search in Bellevue, Susan Enfield, to urging the board to slow the process down and conduct a nationwide search. 

In a special board meeting Friday, February 17, 2012, board members debated the pros and cons of moving ahead with an accelerated interview process with Enfield to allow consideration given she is a finalist in another district, to a national process with a longer time frame and public perceptions related to both approaches.  All board members expressed a desire to have the best candidate in place and are trying to balance the need to hire such a candidate and maintain positive momentum in the district, while minimizing the impacts of a lengthy search could have on the district.  Eva Collins has agreed to serve as interim Superintendent through June, and longer if needed but prefers a shorter time frame if possible.

The board passed a motion (three in favor, one nay and one abstaining) to conduct an accelerated interview with one candidate (Enfield), with the following provisions:

·      The process include an updated evaluation criteria based on the last two weeks’ community input;

·      A defined interview process to include  the school board, Bellevue Education Association (BEA) , district administration and the public; and

·     If after that process the board feels they have a strong feeling from the process, the board may extend an offer to a candidate. 

The board also authorized Board President Paul Mills to contact Susan Enfield to discuss the approved process and determine as quickly as possible if that is a process she is interested in participating in.  Prior to conducting any interviews, the Board agreed to define the process listed above by Monday, February 27, 2012.  Those materials and all updates to the process will be posted on the district web site at on the district's front page.

Friday, February 10, 2012

In a special school board meeting attended by Paul Mills, Christine Chew, Chris Marks and Steve McConnell, the board passed a motion to authorize Board President Paul Mills to tell Susan Enfield that the school board considers her to be a strong candidate for the Bellevue School Superintendent position, and will consider an accelerated interview process for her pending completion of the community input forums scheduled through Thursday, February 16, 2012. Susan Enfield has expressed interest in the position and was a finalist for the position in the 2008 superintendent search process.

A third public input session has been added.  That opportunity will be Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at the Highland Middle School Library at 6:30 pm.

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12111 NE 1st Street
Bellevue, WA 98005

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