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How community input guided superintendent search

How community input guided superintendent search
A graphic saying "Thank you for your input!" on a red and white background

Northwest ISD’s trustees named Dr. David Hicks the district’s lone finalist for superintendent on March 29, a decision made possible thanks to the input of thousands of community members.

Throughout the superintendent search process, trustees were guided by input community members provided through an online survey as well as many in-person or virtual stakeholder meetings. Trustees contracted Leasor Crass to assist with the search process, as they desired input from across the district in which every community member had the opportunity to give feedback.

Leasor Crass used both the online survey as well as group meetings to determine the main traits the community desired in the next superintendent. Some of these groups included student leaders, current and retired educators, campus principals, district leadership, and local government officials. Two general meetings – one held in person, and one held virtually – were also held for any community members who wanted to attend.

From the survey and meetings, Leasor Crass formulated a candidate profile, viewable on the superintendent search page, which trustees relied on for both the candidate screening and interview process. The four top characteristics from the profile that trustees focused on include:

  • Someone who has dealt with fast growth and changing demographics
  • Someone who has demonstrated success in student achievement across all school-related aspects
  • Someone with excellent communication skills to navigate the district’s 14 municipalities across three counties
  • Someone who has shown themselves to be fiscally responsible to ensure the financial stability of the district

More than 30 candidates applied for the superintendent position, which was narrowed to 16 for review. Trustees further narrowed the pool to 10 candidates, of which six were selected for a first round of in-person interviews. After this time, trustees selected their top four candidates for a second round of in-person interviews and chose Dr. Hicks as lone finalist.

Thousands of community members provided input through the online survey or during stakeholder meetings to create a candidate profile

Trustees naming Dr. Hicks lone finalist on March 29 started the clock on a state-mandated waiting period of 21 days. After this time, trustees can formally hire Dr. Hicks to the position. His anticipated start date will likely take place in mid-May. To provide a smooth transition, Dr. Hicks will work with Dr. Ryder Warren, retiring superintendent, to learn more about the district as well as personally meet with key stakeholder groups and community leaders.

The Northwest ISD Board of Trustees thanks the community for their input, as community feedback serves a vital role in the school district’s success.