PITTSBURG — After input from faculty, staff, students and community Pittsburg USD 250 is ready to start sending out applications in search for the district’s next superintendent.

Applications are now open for 30 days.

In the last few weeks the district and firm held focus groups and sent out surveys for stakeholders to share their opinion to help gauge what the public is looking for in the next superintendent, assisted by search firm Ray and Associates which were hired by the USD 250 Board of Education.

The firm met with 191 people face to face from the district, including the board and 288 people took the surveys.

The information collected will be used to make a profile for the district, flyer and application form.

Ray and Associates Representative Brenda Dietrich spoke to the board via conference call during a special board meeting on Monday.

She said the number of people who met with the firm and took surveys is a good amount, school districts 10 times larger than USD 250 get around 400 in comparison, Dietrich said.

“That’s really a great number,” she said.

The feedback was divided into groups (i.e. staff, board members and students) and their responses were put into ranks. The highest ranks were recommended to be used in the application, flyers and profile to explain what are the most important characteristics a superintendent should have to USD 250 and the community.

The recommended characteristics include: “Possesses excellent people skills, presents a positive image of the district and will listen to input and make a decision when necessary; inspires trust, self-confidence, and models high standards of integrity and personal performance; is strongly committed to a “student first” philosophy in all decisions; is a strong communicator — speaking, listening and writing and has the ability to develop and communicate a vision of quality education for the future to the board, staff and community; has experience recruiting and maintaining exceptional staff for the district and schools; is able to delegate authority appropriately while maintaining accountability; has previous experience that will benefit the long-term financial health of the district; is committed to the importance of both the academic and activity programs and possess the ability to enhance student performance and identify and close/narrow gaps; promotes a positive and professional environment for district employees and board.”

The firm also said the board should consider asking for the following characteristics: “Possesses the leaderships skills required to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by an ethically and culturally diverse community and has knowledge of emerging research and best practice in the area of curriculum/instructional design and practice.”

The general consensus approved of the firm’s collection and presentation of the information.

Board Vice President B.J. Harris asked Dietrich if she noticed any discrepancies in what the board, versus staff and community said in the surveys and focus groups.

“I thought it was pretty close,” Dietrich said. “In some districts we have worked in there have been huge discrepancies between teachers, the board and community… you are pretty close in all the areas. I feel good about this.”

Board President Marlene Willis said that is good news.

“It sounds like a nice cluster … we all came together and had the same views, that’s a good thing,” she said.

— 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.