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March 6, 2013     Hays Free Press
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COME TOGETHER Individuals help elderly couple after seeing wind damages on Facebook. - Page 1C HaysFreePress.com * March 6, 2013 Page 3B + Search firm gathers community, teacher and administrator input on what they want in a new Hays CISD superintendent BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com A s the pursuit for a new superintendent for .L ]k/-Iays CISD continues, Proact, an executive search firm, now has input on what the community, teachers and administrators want in their new school leader. The search process included a survey, focus groups, open input sessions and one-on-one interviews with a combination of Hays CISD staff, parents, busi- ness leaders and community members, as well as board members, to gain insight into what type of candidates would make the best super- intendent. Proact's goal was to get feedback on three primary questions: I. What are the strengths of Hays Consolidated Inde- pendent School District? 2. What are the challenges facing Hays CISD in the next three to five years? 3. What are the most im- portant characteristics you would like to see in the next superintendent? More than 920 responses to one of the research meth- ods yielded insight into the kind of candidates Proact should bring to the Board of Trustees. Strengths of Hays CISD included very involved par- ents, a close knit community and dual language programs for a growing population of immigrants within the district. Other strengths included good communication be- tween teachers and par- ents, a variety of academic, athletic and extracurricular activities, and strong ties to the business community. The challenges included growing pains from the district's fast expansion, diversity of families/students in both culture and income, over-reliance on standard- ized testing and inconsisten- cy in responses to problems. Overall, the survey feed- back from 809 respondents indicates the district's new leader should, in this order, put students first, be willing to listen to input but able to make a decision and be a person of strong moral char- acter and absolute integrity. Other desirable charac- teristics included being a humble leader who inspires trust and treats others with respect, having effective communication skills and offering a visible presence in schools. The candidate who earns the job should also have experience in elementary, middle, and high school, be willing to make a long-term commitment to the district, hire the right people to get the job done and work ef- fectively with parents. Teachers and support staff were most likely to respond that the most important characteristic of the new su- perintendent is being willing to listen to input but able to make a decision. Parents and administrators felt the top trait was to put students first. Principals want a super- intendent who has a visible presence in the schools and who works with school leadership. They also want someone who takes leader- ship in instructional issues. Parents, teachers, support staff and community mem- bers who responded to the survey had a person's will- ingness to make a long-term commitment to the district in their top 10 lists. Based on verbatim re- sponses at the end of the survey, commenters hinted that the previous superin- tendent, ]eremy Lyon, may not have possessed some of these traits during his three- year run at Hays CISD. Lyon left in January to begin his new post as the superintendent of the Frisco ISD near Dallas. His prede- cessor spent 17 years in that spot. In contrast, Hays CISD, which serves more than 16,000 students on 22 cam- puses, has had five superin- tendents since 1999. During the focus groups with community members, business leaders, teachers and community leaders, participants also expressed frustration at the district's inability to retain its leader for more than a few years at a clip. Comments also indicated hiring someone who is not just looking for the highest paycheck. Lyon's initial con- tract with the district was for a starting salary of $179,000, plus benefits, a travel allow- ance and other perks. Lyon's wife, Ellen Lyon, was also hired as an administrator. She headed up the STEM program, a science, technol- ogy, engineering and math magnet school within the district. Proact is working to have potential candidates screened and ready for interviews during April. The board accepted the firm's time line to name the lone finalist for the position on or around May 1. To see the full report on the input sessions and survey, go to www.haysfree- press.com and click on Education. op wa This table shows the top 25 salaries for Hays CISD, which has 16,497 students at 22 campuses and an operating budget of $118.2 million for the 2012-2013 school year. The district is currently searching for a new superintendent. Jeremy Lyon, who held the post most recently, earned an initial annual salary of $179,000 plus benefits. Name Position Department Salary Scherff, Carter Deputy Superintendent Admin 144,922.00 Pool, Kimbroly Asst Supt C&I Admin 128,217.00 Hitt, Carolyn Asst Supt HR Admin 124,013.00 Hinojosa, Elsa Exec Dir Secondary Performance Admin 113,393.00 Chae, Michelle Principal High LHS 106,288.00 Pierce, David Principal High HHS 106,288.00 Persall, Timothy Exec Dir Elem Performance Admin 104,841.00 Folmar, Dona Exec Dir Finance Admin 101,840.00 Beam, Gloria Exec Dir Sp Ed Special Ed 100,975.00 Borreson, Dianne Exec Dir Technology Technology 100,048.00 Herrin, Robert Exec Dir Maint/Ops Maintenance 96,990.00 Leflet, Yarda Exec Dir Student Achievement Admin 95,340.00 Ruisinger, Julie Principal Middle LOA 95,327.00 Lahue, Neal Athletic Dir/Head FB Coach Hays HS HHS 92,500.00 Summers, Christopher Principal Elem GES 85,828.00 Philpott, Joy Dir Assess/Account C&I 85,461.00 Thurman, Sara Dir Intervention C&I 85,396.00 Walls, Rodney Dir New Constr/Sustainability Admin 85,391.00 Winkelmann, Charlotte Dir College Readiness C&I 85,299.00 Savoy, Timothy Public Information Officer Admin 84,468.00 Nelson, Angela Principal Elem SHES 84,217.00 Trevino, Roderick Principal Middle DMS 83,778.00 Eubank, Teresa Agnew, Brenda Kelley, Robin Principal Middle Principal Middle Principal Elem BJH WMS PES 83,778.00 83,629.00 83,215.00 ;D SCHOOL BRIEFS Hays CISD budget workshop this Thursday The Board of Trustees of Hays CISD will hold a budget workshop on March 7 begin- ning at 5:30 p.m. at the ad- ministration offices located at 21003 Interstate 35 in Kyle. The meeting is expected to last for two hours. It is not antici- pated the Board will adjourn to closed session for this meeting. School board election update Friday was the last day to file for the Hays CISD Board of Trustees positions for Single- Member-District 4 and Single- Member-District 5. In Single- Member-District 4, current board vice president Merideth Keller was the only candidate to file; that race is uncon- tested. Two candidates filed for Single-Member-District 5 - current board member Marty Kanetzky and Debbie Munoz, the wife of former Hays CISD board member Joe Munoz. The election will be Saturday, May 11. Early voting begins April 29 at the following locations: Buda Elementary School, Hays CISD Central Administration Office and Kyle City Hall.Visit www.hayscisd.net and click on the District tab, then Board of Trustees and School Board, Elections for more information on voting. TEA asks U.S. Department of Education for waivers Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams announced Friday that the Texas Educa- tion Agency (TEA) has formally requested a waiver to specific provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. According to a TEA state- ment, Wdliams requested the waiver to provide additional flexibility while reducing du- plication between state and federal accountability systems. "School districts across Texas are forced to operate within two, often conflicting, ac- countability and intervention systems while taking valuable resources and time away from focusing on improving stu- dent achievement," he said. "The federal requirements and guidelines of ESEA have become an obsolete system that does not adequately reflect the performance of the state's schools." Williams requested the fol- lowing: Waiver of the federal Ac- countability Performance Targets / Standards Setting Procedures to allow TEA to replace the current Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) calcula- tions and performance targets with the state's robust account- ability rating system. Waiver to create a single system of interventions based on accountability results. Waiver to allowTEA to rely solely on the state's rigorous teacher certification standards, which are supported by the state's educator evaluation system. Waiver to allow school dis- tricts or charters to implement school-wide interventions in any of its support, focus, or priority schools, even if those schools do not have a poverty percentage of 40 percent or more. Wdliams is seeking the waiv- ers under Secretary Duncan's general authority to waive specific NCLB requirements rather than the provisional waiver offered to states by the U.S. Department of Education. No fimeline has been provided for a final decision.