Approved: April 12, 2005
SAU 41 School Board Meeting
February 9, 2005
Hollis-Brookline High School
Janet Listowich, Chairperson
Doug Cleveland, HSB
Anita Moynihan, HSB
Kathy deLacy, HSB
Sue Heard, BSB
David Partridge, BSB
Michael Molkentine, BSB
Tim Bevins, HBSB
Anne Dumas, HBSB
Tom Enright, HBSB
Betty Hall, HBSB (arrived at 5:30 p.m.)
Pam Kirby, HBSB
Jim McBride, HBSB
Steve Simons, HBSB
Lee-Ann Blastos, Business Administrator
Ray Raudonis, New England School Development Council (NESDEC)
Julie Mook, Superintendent Search Committee
LouAnn Parodi, Superintendent Search Committee
Betsy A, Bowen, Recording Secretary
Others present included members of the Public.
Chairperson Janet Listowich called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
Pam Kirby moved that the Board amend the minutes of December 14, 2004, changing the statement "giving substantial notice that he is retiring" on page 3 to "many years of service." Tom Enright seconded. Motion carried. 12 – 0 – 1 (Partridge abstained.)
Tom Enright moved that the Board accept the minutes of December 14, 2004 as amended. Steve Simons seconded. Motion carried. 12 – 0 – 1 (Partridge abstained.)
2. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS, PROCEDURES, AND INSTRUCTIONS
Chair. Listowich briefed the Board on procedures for interviewing the three finalists. She explained that each candidate would be asked the same prepared list of questions. Individual Board members would be asking the questions. Mr. Bevins would then follow-up with an overview of what the Board is looking for in a candidate, and given enough time, Chair. Listowich would ask each candidate if they have anything they would like to add, or would like the Board to know.
Chair. Listowich then instructed the audience, stating that
The audience would not be allowed to ask any questions.
All cell phones must be turned off.
There were to be no side conversations going on during the interviews.
Mr. Bevins stated that the following would be what he would touch upon in his overview of what the Board is looking for in a candidate:
Strong in curriculum
Know how to lead, but knows how to listen
Good sense of humor
The following is the list of prepared interview questions for the candidates, and the name of the Board member who asked the question:
1A. What do you envision as a successful relationship between yourself and our multiple school boards?
1B. (If needed) What will you do to help make that a reality?
2A. Knowing that in SAU 41 we have a full-time director of curriculum, what is your perception of the superintendent’s role in the promotion of curriculum and instruction in the district?
2B. How will you ensure that curriculum in all schools continues to expand and improve, giving examples of how you have done that in your current district?
3. How will you hold administrators and teachers accountable for their performance in moving us forward with differentiated instruction?
4A. Who are your most important constituents as superintendent and why?
4B. How will you ensure that SAU-wide, our special education students’, our average students’ and our gifted and talented students’ needs are all met?
5A. Describe how you recruit staff in you present situation.
5B. What qualities do you look for when hiring an administrator?
5C. How do you involve staff in the hiring process?
6. During the budget season, SAU 41 develops four district budgets, and works with three budget/finance committees. What are your expectations from the central office staff in facilitating that process and ensuring good communication with all parties involved (like the budget or finance committees, school boards, administrators)?
7. Please describe your management style using specific examples of techniques you have found to be effective in staff meetings, school visits, written evaluations, etc.
8.A. What process do you use to evaluate your administrators?
8B. Assuming you are our next superintendent, what are your expectations of the process we would use to evaluate you?
9A. What do you believe the superintendent’s role is in the community, beyond the school system?
9B. Could you give us an example of how you responded when a parent or board member approached you with a new idea or concern?
10. For Dave Baker: What would you consider to be your most significant accomplishment in your present superintendency?
10. For Rich Pike: What would you consider to be your most significant accomplishment in your present superintendency?
10. For Tim Markley: Not everyone here is familiar with Nova Southeastern University. Could you talk to us about your graduate work and what was expected of you in that program in order to obtain your doctoral degree?
11. Please describe where you are in your career planning. How many years do you foresee being Superintendent of SAU 41 if you are the successful candidate?
12. Knowing what you do about us, tell us what you think you could do as our superintendent that will move us from "good" to "great."
3. INTERVIEW OF DAVID BAKER
Chair. Listowich introduced Mr. Baker to the Board and Committee members.
The following are Mr. Baker’s responses to the above questions:
Mr. Baker stated that he had had experience with multiple boards, and he felt that the critical piece in dealing with multiple boards is being organized. He added that he knows what he wants to accomplish for the day, and then goes about fulfilling those goals. He stated that Hollis Brookline is a bigger district than what he has worked with, but he felt that the way the District was organized that it would be easy to work with the multiple boards.
2A. Mr. Baker felt that it was great that SAU 41 had curriculum support at the SAU level. He stated that the District had significant pieces in place in regards to curriculum, and that the District had laid a nice foundation. Mr. Baker felt that the roll of the Superintendent was to be part of an initiative. He also felt that the Superintendent should try to provide a system for collaboration, research, and staff development.
2B. Mr. Baker stated that he would set up strong teams between grade levels and districts. He felt that the job of the folks at the top of the pyramid was to support the staff, get them together, and make things happen.
3. Mr. Baker stated that he would first want to take a look at what models were already in place. He pointed out that there were already clinical formats in place, which are good for certain types. He felt that walk-thrus and evaluations were important. He stated that the Principals and Assistant Principals needed to be out and about. He felt that one should hold people accountable by example.
4A. Mr. Baker stated that the most important constituents were the students. He then added he would go a step further, stating that the biggest constituency was the families that the district serves. The families are not only part of the paying constituency, but they are the consumers. Families want to feel they are getting their money’s worth. Mr. Baker then stated that the next level of constituency would be the community, adding that he becomes a part of that community that he has lived in the towns he has worked in.
4B. Mr. Baker stated that in regards to meeting all students' needs, he never had the feeling that they had to be competing interests. He stated that one must meet with the constituency to get the feeling of what their needs are. This can be done through surveys, forums, and simple conversations. He added that if the District is doing differentiated instruction well, they would meet the needs of all groups.
5A. Mr. Baker stated that he pretty much recruits staff the way it had been done that day – putting their best foot forward, keeping in contact, tours. He felt that the Superintendent needed to be the cheerleader for the system, and pointed out why the district is a good place to work.
5B. Mr. Baker stated that qualities he looks for in recruiting is someone who is passionate about their work. He felt this was critical, as public education was not easy. He stated he also looks for someone who is well read and research based.
5C. Mr. Baker stated that he involves the staff a lot in the hiring process. He stated that staff is used in the initial screening process. He stated that his present school board trusts the integrity of the superintendent, principal, and staff to bring the best candidates forward. He added that he would also include the community/parents.
6. Mr. Baker stated that he depends heavily on the SAU staff to work through the budget. He felt his strength was financial, added that he has always worked with a surplus. He added that it is important to have good information.
7. Mr. Baker stated that his management style is collaborative and all-inclusive. He stated that people get frustrated when they feel there is not a good flow of information. He felt it was important to put good leadership team together. He felt that staff meetings should be well organized, and added that he tries to attend as many as possible. He felt that good staff meetings are process centered and have a goal.
8. Mr. Baker stated that he would use some form of 360º evaluation and feedback. He felt it was important to assess how well the staff member is performing against the expectations that have been set. He felt there was power in a 360º model, and that most good teachers do it anyway.
9A. Mr. Baker felt it was critical to find out ways to become part of civic organizations. He stated that he was a member of Elks and was also a Rotarian. He felt that the Superintendent should be out and about, and be visible, as well as avail himself to fund raisers.
9B. Mr. Baker felt that if board members had done a good job charting a course with strategic planning, then when approached with a new idea, he would go back to "is it going to get us where we want to go?" If not, then it is not the time for it.
Mr. Baker felt that with parents, it’s communication and taking the time to listen. He felt that it is important to give time to the person to hear what the idea is, then it would be his responsibility to educate parents about what the district is about.
10. Mr. Baker stated that at St. Johnsbury, there was no system for communication and dialogue. He helped develop a relationship of teaming.
11. Mr. Baker stated that he knew what it takes to come into a district, become part of the community, and to build trust. He stated that he knew it was not a two or three year commitment. He felt that he had one good long run left in him, and could see himself spending 8 – 10 years in the district. He stated that one of the biggest problems in education today is that administrators are always moving around, that there is no stability. He added that they could reach a time when the board is tired of him. He pointed out that the board that hires you is not the board that fires you.
Mr. Baker stated that he got the sense that there are pieces in place, yet the challenge will be how to take the pieces and put them together. Mr. Baker felt he was a good listener, and can process and synthesize information well. He added that he had the ability to facilitate and communicate a process to tie up loose ends. He stated that he was big into strategic planning. He added that the District has got the resources, the facilities, and the people, now they need to facilitate it.
Chair. Listowich asked Mr. Baker if there was anything that the Board didn’t ask that he felt they should know? Mr. Baker responded that he didn’t think so. He felt that he had already informed the Board as to what he could bring to the position.
Ms. Heard asked Mr. Baker what impressed him most about the district? Mr. Baker responded that the curriculum work that had been done. He added that he could sense a happy climate – that the students are happy with the staff and visa versa. He added that everyone talked respectfully.
Ms. Hall stated that she had read in his resume that he was at the elementary level at both his schools, and didn’t have a high school in either district. Mr. Baker responded that even though in St. Johnsbury the high school students were tuitioned to St. Johns Academy, he still participated in a lot of the day-to-day work. He added that when he was the Assistant Superintendent in Barre, VT , They had a big high school. Also, in Littleton, he had the opportunity to supervise the high school principal.
Mr. Bevins then reviewed what the Board was looking for in the successful candidate.
Chair. Listowich explained that the Board would be deliberating that night, and making a decision. She added that Mr. Raudonis would call Mr. Baker that night with their decision.
4. INTERVIEW OF RICHARD PIKE
Chair. Listowich introduced Mr. Pike to the Board and Committee members.
The following are Mr. Pike’s responses to the above questions:
1. Mr. Pike believed that when you go into an organization with multiple districts, you are never going to get complete agreement, but if the districts come up with core values and beliefs that everyone agrees on, then that is a good thing. He felt that it is important to establish common values and goals, to strive for student achievement, and to implement strategic planning. He stated that the fundamental commitment and value should be around learning and student achievement.
2A. Mr. Pike stated that he had read the material on the districts’ websites and several reports. He was impressed that the SAU had a dedicated Director of Curriculum, and with all the work that had been done developing the curriculum around the NH Frameworks. He felt that the role of the Superintendent was a partnership and a collaborative role with the Administrators. He stated that the role should be supportive, collaborative, and that he Superintendent should work with the Administrators towards that end. He felt that the Superintendent should be a resource and spokesperson for the district.
2B. Mr. Pike stated that during his high school principal days at Interlakes in Meredith, he was the catalyst to getting AP classes into the curriculum. He sold it to the public, and the district continued that mission after he left.
3. Mr. Pike stated that he knew from the district’s mission that differential instruction was a high priority of the district; therefore, it should become part of everyone’s goal. He felt that the Superintendent should work collaboratively with the Administration to:
Determine what they want the students to learn.
Determine how they will know when they have learned the material.
Determine what will be done when students are not learning the material.
He felt it was important for every student to have equity and access to resources for learning.
4A. In regards to the most important constituents, Mr. Pike felt that every member of the school community – taxpayers, taxpayers with students, senior citizens should be seen as equal partners. He believed that it is important to use all resources and look at every person being a part of it. He felt that it is important to have more leaders, more leaders working collaboratively.
4B. Mr. Pike felt that ensuring that all students’ need are met begins with the fundamental belief that all students can learn. He felt that high expectations should be set for all students. He felt that for all personnel working in the district, it was critical to recruit the best people, develop the people you have, provide the support they need to keep them well-trained, and retain them.
Mr. Pike also felt that it was important to have a well-documented system before students enter into the system. He stated that a key piece to meeting all students’ needs is having strong role models, and early intervention before Special Education is needed.
5A. Mr. Pike stated that the physical part of recruiting would be advertising, and trying to make the position inviting. Recruiting also requires good exposure to the available position. He stated that he relies on teams of people – principal and classroom teachers – to bring forth the best candidates. After they have been hired, they must be trained and then retained.
5B. Mr. Pike stated that he looks for someone who cares for students, has a passion for the craft, has high standards, is ethical, a risk-taker, a team player, and can develop an extra epidermal layer.
5C. Mr. Pike stated that when hiring middle school staff, if it involves coordinated curriculum, he also gets someone from the high school and the elementary school involved. He felt it was important to involve both ends of the spectrum. He stated that at the high school level, he also gets parents involved with the initial parts of the search, along with classroom teachers. He added that it was important to use a process that the principal is comfortable with.
6. Mr. Pike stated that he would like to see some document that would articulate the process of developing a budget. He felt this lets everyone know what the process is, and added that the process was important, and needed to be understood by all parties. He also felt that lots of collaboration was needed.
7. Mr. Pike felt there were two elements to management:
The nuts and bolts of things to get done (building maintenance, etc).
Leadership – which involves leading by example, involving everyone’s input, being a good listener, being fair, making good decisions, i.e., decisions in the best interest of the students, and making decisions that will advance the student’s learning.
Mr. Pike stated that you can’t expect people to buy into what you say overnight, that you must develop relationships first, and it has to be done collaboratively.
8A. Mr. Pike stated that early in the spring he sits down with each administrator to review the job description and decide if there are any changes that need to be brought to the board. At that point in time, goals for that person are set for the year. In February/March, an interim conference is held to review the proposed goals. In May, a written narrative is done on the progress of the goals set. He also asks the staff to do self-evaluations.
8B. Mr. Pike stated that he would expect the board to use the same process that he uses. He felt the 360º evaluations were important. He felt that feedback not just from the Board, but also from Administrators, SAU staff, parents, etc., was also important.
9A. Mr. Pike felt that "school is community" and that the Superintendent is part of that. He pointed out that teachers who are involved in extra-curricular activities are seen by students in a role other that "teacher."
Mr. Pike felt that the Superintendent must be linked to the community, that it was important to attend basketball games, and be involved in projects outside the school community. He also felt that it was important for Administrators to also share in the larger community, without too many expectations, as they also have a family life.
9B. Mr. Pike stated that in regards to new ideas, it was first important to find out if the person had talked with anyone else, and what they would like the Superintendent to do about it. Mr. Pike stated that he called suggestions "Random Acts of Innovation." He stated that you must look at how the suggestion would fit in the mission of the school, and how it fits in with the game plan. Mr. Pike felt it was important not to discourage anyone with a good idea, but must challenge it.
In regards to concerns, Mr. Pike stated that he would first find out if the person had talked with the person in the chain of command. He felt that out of respect for the person in charge, the person with the concern should talk to them first. If they do not get satisfaction, then they should talk to the Superintendent, and finally the Board.
10. Mr. Pike felt that developing a strategic plan for smaller feeder schools to transition to high school was his most significant accomplishment. He added that his district needed to talk about academic transition to high school. The regional board was not interested in the plan, but the local board wanted to go on a retreat and strategic plan about the issue. The regional board finally wanted to buy into it. The action plan for improving the transition involved principals having monthly meetings. 6th grade teachers now talk to 7th grade teachers.
11. Mr. Pike stated that he was a NH native and had spent the lion’s share of his career in NH. He stated that his goal was to work in a high performing school district where his talents would be appreciated, and where he could pass on what he has learned. He added that he would like to work for another 8 years, then retire.
12. Mr. Pike stated that one could go to a number of resources on-line and find 10-12 attributes for high performing schools. He stated that the SAU 41 has many of those attributes. He added that in his observations that day he saw a lot of commitment and parent involvement, which is a big factor for success. He stated that the district does not just "talk the talk," but "walks the walk." The Districts’ test scores, course offerings, resources, commitment of personnel, the strong adult role model, and the safe orderly environment are all factors to contributing to its success.
Mr. Pike stated that if he were the chosen candidate, it would be his responsibility for continuous improvement, and to take people to the next level. He felt it would be a natural evolution of process. He felt it was important to reward people, and reinforce the good work that they do. He felt it was a collaborative effort, and stated that he would like to be part of that process.
Chair. Listowich asked if there were any questions Mr. Pike would like to ask the Board, of if there were anything else he would like the Board to know about himself?
Mr. Pike responded that he saw the District as genuinely interested in students. He stated that he would like to be in that kind of district, adding that he had a lot of experience from the different positions he has had, and felt that he could bring a lot to the table.
Mr. Pike stated that it is hard to put in words, but it is a feeling that you get the first 15-30 seconds when you walk into a building. He stated that visiting the schools that day was welcoming, had a safe feeling, and the people were congenial and cordial. He concluded by saying that he felt good about the day.
Mr. Bevins then reviewed what the Board was looking for in the successful candidate.
Chair. Listowich informed Mr. Pike that the Board would be making a decision that night, and Mr. Raudonis would be contacting him with their decision.
5. INTERVIEW OF TIMOTHY MARKLEY
Chair. Listowich introduced Mr. Markley to the Board and Committee members.
The following are Mr. Markley’s responses to the above questions:
1. Mr. Markley stated that he works with five different towns, but there is only one school board. He stated that he sees the selectmen of each town every year to discuss what the schools are trying to achieve. Mr. Markley felt it was important to have open communications, and to recognize differences. He stated that he tries to keep interests separate, and tries to address them, but it was also important to have shared interests.
2A. Mr. Markley felt the Superintendent should work with curriculum in each district, making sure that the curriculum aligns with the State standards and NH Frameworks, and that the information is available. He also felt that it was important to make adjustments where needed.
2B. Mr. Markley felt that the key to ensure that curriculum continues to expand was:
Curriculum mapping – looking at what is being done and making sure that it aligns with State standards
Testing – do follow-up testing in the spring to see if there is improvement.
Mr. Markley stated that one must first assess what differentiated instruction looks like in the classroom. Professional development must be provided to the teachers. Resources must also be available to the teachers. Mr. Markley stated that he likes to spend time in the classroom. He felt it was important to look at the results of assessment testing.
4A. Mr. Markley felt that students were the most important constituency, followed by the teachers who must be provided with the resources they need, and finally the communities, realizing that the students that graduate will work in the community or go to college.
4B. Mr. Markley stated that with the Special Education students, one must look at their IEP’s and make sure they are being implemented. If goals are not being met, then the IEP must be re-evaluated.
In regards to regular students, one must see if goals are being met, especially in regards to State assessments. If they are not being met, then what assistance can the student get to help them?
Mr. Markley felt that the resources at SAU 41 were outstanding.
5A. Mr. Markley stated that his district was not the highest paying school district, so they try to attract staff by offering a good environment. He stated that they do on-line recruiting, as well as job fairs. He added that once they hire staff, they must work to retain then, He pointed out that there wasn’t much turn over in SAU 41.
5B. Mr. Markley stated that he looks for bright, articulate people when hiring candidates. He also looks for someone with a strong professional quality, someone who seeks improvement, and can have a good relationship with the community.
5C. Mr. Markley stated that his district had just completed a principal search. He explained that the search involved teachers, community, and students. Three finalists were selected and sent to the board for their decision.
6. Mr. Markley stated that the central office is responsible for preparing a skeleton budget, and providing numbers to the budget committee. He stated that they must also provide the resources, and the expert details,
7. Mr. Markley informed the Board that he meets with his principals twice a month. One meeting is to go over the nuts and bolts of running the schools, and the second meeting is philosophical. He stated that currently, he and his staff are discussing the issue of Title I, whether they should accept the funding, since it comes with a lot of strings attached to it. Other discussions involve how to restructure Special Education.
Mr. Markley stated that he sits with each principal to set building and personnel goals. He then meets with them in January to touch base, and has a final wrap-up at the end of the year. He added that the staff also completes a self-evaluation form. The evaluation is used to identify needs and to make improvements. He stated that they must ask themselves if they are better come the end of the year than they were at the beginning of the year.
8A. Mr. Markley stated that he uses forms for evaluating administrators.
8B. Mr. Markley stated that in evaluating the Superintendent, he would like to establish goals to be accomplished throughout the year, as well as criteria, then meet at the end of the year to see if the goals had been met.
9A. Mr. Markley stated that in New Hampshire, Superintendents are not required to live in the district. He felt that if you work in the school district, then it should be good enough to send your children there. He stated that he would be seen at community events, and that schools are public assets. He added that he would also be seen at the town meeting.
9B. Mr. Markley stated that in regards to a concern, he would ask if the person had spoken to the teacher and or principal? If they have, then he will listen to their concern, then contact the principal.
In regards to new ideas, Mr. Markley stated that he would ask the person to tell him why it was a good idea. He then felt that research must be done, and if resources are needed, they will get them.
10. Mr. Markley informed the Board that Nova Southeastern University was a private school in Florida. He stated that he did his dissertation on "Doctoral Teacher Evaluation Systems," and added that he had written a couple of articles.
Mr. Markley stated that Nova Southeastern University had the most effective program where he could still hold his principal position and work on his doctorate.
11. Mr. Markley stated that he had promised his son that where he starts 9th grade he will graduate from. His son is currently in 8th grade. Mr. Markley stated that he couldn’t say that this position would be his last stop in his career, but he would be here for several years.
12. Mr. Markley stated that he was amazed with the resources in the District. He did feel that there was a need to rebuild community trust, and cited that he had read about the friction with the Coop Board and parents regarding the change in the schedule.
Mr. Markley stated that academically, the District was doing great. He added that Special Education is always a concern, and always has a need for improvement.
Mr. Markley stated that if 80% of the graduating students go on to college, then he felt it was important to do work with local colleges so that students can attend some classes, and thus enter college with some credits.
Mr. Enright stated that Mr. Markley had talked about communications. He asked that Mr. Markley give some specifics.
Mr. Markley stated that they got district email implemented in his district. Now staff can access their email from home. He added that his district uses "Power School" instead of "Win School." He explained that parents can log on to check pertinent information about their student. Students can also log on.
Mr. Markley informed the Board that they had started a newsletter, and that the high school newspaper goes to every resident in the district. Also, he had revamped his district’s website, and put the school budget on there.
Mr. Markley stated that he goes to the selectmen twice a year to keep them informed of what the schools are trying to accomplish. He added that if there were any particular issues, he tries to go to the school and address the concerns.
Mr. Markley informed the Board that he gets to the office at 7:30 a.m. and is the last one out at the end of the day. He also stated that he likes to get out into the community.
Mr. Bevins then reviewed what the Board was looking for in the successful candidate.
Chair. Listowich explained that the Board would be deliberating that night, and making a decision. She added that Mr. Raudonis would call Mr. Markley that night.
Susan Heard moved that the Board enter non-public session under the provisions of RSA 91-A:3 II (b) hiring. Julie Mook, Lee Ann Blastos, LouAnn Parodi, and Ray Raudonis were invited to stay. Anita Moynihan seconded. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in the affirmative. 13 – 0 – 0.
The Board entered non-public session at 8:20 p.m.