PITTSBURG — To help search for a new superintendent and assistant superintendent, Pittsburg USD 250 Board of Education selected Ray and Associates to do the job during Monday’s regular meeting.

USD250 Superintendent Destry Brown is set to retire on June 30, 2018 at the end of the school year — after nine years with the district and Assistant Superintendent Ronda Fincher is set to resign at the end of the school year as well after 31 years in education.

Ray and Associates Representatives Ralph Teran and Brenda Dietrich presented their proposal during Monday’s meeting.
The board also listened to a superintendent search presentation from Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates with representatives Jim Morse and Chris Nicastro and in a previous meeting listened to Kansas Association of School Boards Deputy Executive Director Doug Moeckel’s proposal.

Ray and Associates proposed $17,000 for the superintendent search and additional $3,000 for the assistant superintendent search.

KASP proposed $8292 and HYA proposed $18,500, excluding travel expenses.

The firm’s main office is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dietrich said the firm makes about 50 searches a year and have been involved in superintendent searches for over four years.

Ray and Associates are no strangers to the area, Dietrich said, they recently did searches in Joplin and Lawrence and are currently working on one in a Shawnee Mission district.

Teran said the average number of complete application files in the Midwest, and for districts similar to USD 250, is around 50 candidates.

“We’re in a good place, I have colleagues that I work closely that are in Kansas and Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska and in the area …  we are in a really good position to put out a net in those areas with our associates,” Teran said.

Teran said the firm does extensive background and internet checks, along with an investigation of social media.

“There are new methods popping up all of the time,” Teran said.

They also offer transition training for the new superintendent for no extra charge, Dietrich said.  

“We want to provide those services,” Dietrich said.

During the discussion over the possible candidates to conduct the search, the board the liked they idea that the firm anticipated questions from the board regarding transition to new superintendents.

“It’s nice to know that they are anticipating all of the questions,” Board President Marlene Willis said.

The two also said their team will speak to whatever groups the district chooses along with a four hour meeting with constituents.

“Whoever you want to embrace we will reach out to those groups,” Dietrich said

Dietrich said one of the unique characteristics about the firm is their online survey on the district’s website and their district survey.

“If nothing else you will have a tremendous input on the district out of this,” Dietrich said.

Dietrich will not be lead as she is a lead in the Shawnee Mission search.

USD 250 Board Member John Clark said the firm’s proposal answered many of the questions he had for them.

After the firm’s presentation, the board discussed their thoughts moved to hire Ray and Associates for both the superintendent and assistant superintendent search.

The board decided Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates would not be the selected firm because of the added expenses based on travel.

“I think they had a fine proposal, but based on all of the expenses, we have other proposals that are similar and more affordable,” B.J. Harris said.

The board chose Ray and Associates over KASB because there were no extra charges for some of their services and the group has more exposure which would increase the candidate pool, Board Member John Clark said.

“We always had success with KASB,” Clark said. “They’ve done a good job for us.

“I do like the fact that Ray and Associates have a lot of midwestern exposure with Missouri and Kansas and have done quite few searches in this area.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.