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Search Firm to Find New DSUSD Superintendent

Leadership Associates chosen to head the search to replace Dr. Sharon McGehee.

The Desert Sands Unified School District Board of Education voted 4-0 in a special session Tuesday night to use an outside search agency to help find it's next superintendent.


Leadership Associates will take on the search for a new Superintendent to replace the retiring Dr. Sharon McGehee.

The contract has a maximum amount of $27,500 and the search is expected to take approximately four months.


Prior to the vote, members of the teaching community told the Board that they preferred to see an internal candidate come forward, as opposed to spending up to $27,500 for a national search.  

"We have a number of highly qualified internal candidates," Desert Sands Teachers Association President Mona Davidson told the board. 


"I agree that we do have a number of great candidates internally," said Bob Wright of the Desert Sands Education Foundation. "But the economy isn't that great right now to spend $27,500.  We built and entire computer lab at John Glenn [Middle School] for $17,000. If the board has a burning desire to write a check for $27,500, write it to the Desert Sands Educational foundation and we'll put it to better use."

Mike Escalante, head of Leadership Associates says the search will not be purely based on out-of-area candidates.  "We will look at internal candidates," he told the board during a conference session.  "As part of the process, board will see all of the candidates."

Escalante and Leadership Associates co-partner Kent Bechler, both former school district superintendents themselves, outlined the process to the board.   The plan on beginning with meetings starting September 4th with employees, principals, PTO groups, student trustees and others to get input on what hey would look for in a new superintendent.

Leadership Associates say they will seek input from the board and community to finalize job the requirements and qualifications.  Once those are determined, the search firm will reach out to possible candidates via multiple methods, including advertisements in education industry publications.

The company will vet the candidates to ensure the background is what the district desires.  Those candidates will come forward in a package with resumes and research on the potential new superintendents.  The board will then conduct interviews with their preferred candidates and make the final decision.


An update on the process will be given to the Board at the September 18th meeting. 

Candidates are scheduled to be presented to the Board on Monday November 5, at 4:30 p.m.


Final interviews are tentatively scheduled for November 15 and 16.

Rob Lasorsa August 29, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Congratulations to Dr McGehee for a job well done. This is a great opportunity for the DSUSD to hire a outstanding Superintendent. Leadership Associates is a well respected group within the educational community and the $27,500 will be well worth it if the right candidate is hired.

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