|Basan "Buzz" Nembirkow|
It is a bit presumptuous, I admit, for me to make suggestions to our elected officials. They are the ones on the front lines, so to speak, and as such are privy to more information than I possess. In addition, they are the ones who must answer to the voters.
This suggestion, then, is solely from one citizen who also happens to write a blog expressing his opinion. It carries no more weight than a proposal from any other citizen.
Searching for a New Superintendent of Schools
There is no task more important for a school committee than its selection of the top administrator of the school system. It needs to be done carefully and thoughtfully. It need not, must not, be rushed. There is no prize for filling the position quickly. In fact, the hasty appointment is rarely the best appointment, to say the least.
Instead, I recommend the following.
1. Retain Acting Superintendent, Basan Nembirkow, in that capacity until June 30, 2013.
2. In the interim, negotiate with Mr. Nembirkow for the position of Interim Superintendent for the 2013 - 2014 school year.
3. Start planning the search for a new Southbridge Superintendent of Schools now. Call upon Mr. Nembirkow's expertise in defining the task of the Superintendent of Southbridge Schools as a job description is being written for the search.
4. Set a goal for having a new Superintendent of Southbridge Schools for July 1, 2014.
Everyone that I have spoken with speaks highly of Acting Superintendent Nembirkow. He is building a confidence in our school system that has been sorely lacking. With his leadership and guidance, progress will surely continue. We need to keep him as long as we can.
The new search must be competently led, I believe, by professionals in the field. It must be a nationwide search. It is true that using a professional searching service can be costly, but experience has shown that not using one has been costly also on many levels.
There are many stakeholders in Southbridge when it comes to the strength of our public schools. Nothing can move Southbridge forward more than a good school system, Conversely, nothing can hinder our progress as a town more than a poor school system.
Would some corporations, realtors, and other businesses be willing to invest financially in a professional search for a new Superintendent of Schools for Southbridge? Could funds for community development be applied toward a search process? Are there funds on the state and federal level that may apply as well?
Taking a thoughtful, visionary approach toward selecting the next Southbridge Superintendent of Schools will provide the school committee the opportunity to get the answers to those questions and more.
Let's truly and deliberately aim for the goal of bringing to Southbridge the very best candidate possible. Our children, our entire town, have everything to gain from a search done right.