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Superintendent Search Process for School Boards

Board Centered, Superintendent Friendly and Data Driven.

Selecting the right superintendent is the school board’s most important role. Finding an instructional leader who will achieve the vision and mission of your schools is an important decision that will directly impact student achievement. The WASB Search Services is designed to make hiring a superintendent a positive learning experience to help you better serve your district. We offer maximum flexibility to the board and assure total board control in the decision-making process.

Search Services consultants are equipped to help you from start to finish with a customized process. As a part of your membership organization, the consultants offer transition services that will help the right hire and the board quickly begin their journey together. They can also connect you with the full range of WASB support services – from policy assistance to legal services and board development.

The WASB has worked with many school districts, both small and large, in Wisconsin.

List of districts/CESAs served by the WASB Search Services since 2015-16

Alma Area
Belmont Community
Boyceville Community
Brighton #1
Burlington Area
Cadott Community
Central/Westosha UHS
Clear Lake

Elk Mound Area
Lake Mills Area
Little Chute
Mount Horeb Area

Prairie du Chien
Prairie Farm
Randall Cons. Joint 1
South Milwaukee
Spooner Area
Twin Lakes No. 4
Viroqua Area
Walworth Joint 1
West Salem
Westby Area
Wisconsin Heights

Are you a board member seeking a superintendent?

Operating Principles

When you select the WASB, you are selecting a trusted partner with whom you, your board and superintendent will have a long-term relationship. The WASB stands ready to be your partner, during the search process and beyond. Our consultants are experienced educational leaders who recognize that each search is the beginning of a journey.

The WASB search consultants are equipped to facilitate a customized process during which they provide information and options to the board which makes the final decisions. At the heart of the WASB search process is a series of focus groups with the board, school staff, and community members. The data generated from these meetings will be used to develop each aspect of your search – from the vacancy announcement to the application essays and the questions you use in your interviews.

Every application received by the WASB on the district’s behalf is provided to the district.

Request a Proposal

Is your district preparing to make the critical decision of selecting your next superintendent? Please contact Sally Sweitzer to request a proposal. A consultant will then set up a meeting with the board to determine how the WASB Search Services can meet the needs of your district.

National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS)

The WASB is an active member of the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers.

The Search Process

We do our work with you—not just for you. The first planning meeting involves determining the extent and the type of community and student involvement in the process, budget and schedule of activities, existing board policy, and commitments of individual board members. A subsequent meeting entails choosing five or six candidates for the first interviews and reviewing interview questions and procedures.
Superintendent Profile
The consultant assists the board in arriving at the profile of the desired person based on information from focus groups and the school board.
The WASB advertises open positions on more than 30 statewide, regional and national websites. We also notify the WASB applicant pool. Individuals who are interested in the positions are encouraged to apply.

We’ll work with you to develop questions and thoroughly prepare for the interviews. You’ll receive a detailed Resource Guide, an orientation on effective interview techniques and format, and a review of the appropriate laws. Two or three finalists and an alternate will be chosen.  The school board and the consultant plan the second round of interviews including who will be involved and the day’s schedule. There may be feedback to the board from those participating in the process. The board prioritizes their choices.

Board Visit to the Finalist's District
Board members decide who will visit the district of their first choice finalist.
The school board or its designee negotiates a contract with the final candidate.
The New Superintendent
The WASB can assist the district with developing press releases and making introductions to the staff and community to help establish strong relationships from the start. The consultants offer transition services that will help the right hire and the board quickly begin their journey together. Additionally, we offer assistance in clarifying expectations and enhancing communication between you and your new superintendent from day one.
Search Costs

The WASB Search Services is a contracted service. Professional services are offered at an hourly rate plus expenses for travel, mileage, meals, and lodging, if necessary. Additional costs include advertising, postage, legal counsel, finalists’ travel expenses, and the site visit. The WASB Search Services cost can begin at $7,950 which includes expenses; however, the total service costs are determined by the Search Services design and scope which is locally determined, as well as on-site consultant time. If a board elects to do portions of a search virtually, costs can be reduced in most cases.The WASB works with the board to design a search that meets the needs of the district.

Read what others are saying

about Search Services:

During the COVID 19 requirements, the WASB was able to individualize the needs of the CESA Board of Control members and applicants for the director position and provide outstanding opportunity for a successful choosing and placement of a director in a timely manner. Everyone was able to participate at a comfortable and safe level determined individually.

Board Member, CESA 4

Our consultant provided guidance to the board after truly getting an understanding for our collective concerns. He remained independent and kept us on track, while providing the guidance we needed.

Board Member, School District of Cudahy

The WASB Search Services made the process of searching, interviewing, and choosing a new superintendent very easy. We set the parameters of what was important to our district and what we were looking for in a candidate – and from that point on, the process was clear, the advice was professional and prompt, and we are very happy with the outcome. I would recommend the WASB Search Services to any district – in fact, I can’t image doing a superintendent search without their assistance!

Board Member, Dodgeville School District

I am so very grateful for the expert help we got with, in my opinion, the most important thing we do as school board members: choose a superintendent.

Board Member, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District

The WASB Search Services provided a professional and tailored approach to assist us in our superintendent search that resulted in a smooth transition to a new superintendent.

Board Member, School District of Lodi

The WASB Search Services were professional, and the process was smooth because of the advance planning processes offered from the WASB. Our consultant was wonderful to work with in every way.

Board Member, Viroqua Area Schools

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