BETHEL TWP. — The community will have the opportunity to help direct the search for a new superintendent of Bethel Local Schools.
A series of meetings with district stakeholders — students, teachers, support staff, administrators and community members — are set for Feb. 7. Specific times will be announced on the district’s website and Facebook page as they are set.
According to Board of Education President Jacob King, the meetings are a chance for members of the Bethel community to share what characteristics they would like to see in a new superintendent.
“We highly encourage everybody in the community to come to that meeting,” he said. “It will outline what the community wants in a superintendent and that will be part of what goes into the search criteria to find a superintendent.”
Last year, current superintendent Ginny Potter announced her intention to resign at the end of the 2018-19 school year. In December, the board hired K-12 Business Consulting to assist in the search for a new administrative leader.
The input gathered at the meetings will help the consultants develop a search profile for the district. King said it will also help the board tailor its interview questions.
“This is really building the framework for what we’re going to look for in our next superintendent,” he said.
If any district staff, parents, students or community members want to be involved but are unable to attend the Feb. 7 meetings, a questionnaire is available on the district’s website (www.bethel.k12.oh.us). The questionnaires are only seen by the consulting company.
The search process includes four to six weeks of recruitment of eight to 10 candidates. The consultants will also meet with the board to screen initial candidates before a meet and greet with candidates, staff and community stakeholders. There will be up to two nights of first round interviews and one night of second round finalist interviews.
The entire process is expected to last a couple of months. King said he hopes a new superintendent will be hired in April and start before the next school year begins.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the board, but I would say that we’re looking for a superintendent that we feel will effectively be the educational leader in our schools, as well as a community stakeholder, so that we can tie our community, our school and the educational needs of our students all together,” King said. “It’s a big task, especially with the changing community.”
The district has experienced a lot of changes in recent years due to the construction of new homes in the Carriage Trails development, which brought an influx of new students. In December 2018, there were 1,557 students enrolled in the district. Enrollment in 2013 was under 1,000 students.
“It’s not going to be a mundane job. It’s going to be exciting and they’re going to face a lot of challenges, but they have the opportunity to shape the educational future of this school district for years to come,” he added.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.