Community engagement in superintendent search

One of the most important decisions that a School Board makes is the selection of a superintendent. Most of us recognize the daily impact on our students in the classroom, but the quality of our schools also affects our current and future work force, the value of our homes and the taxes that we pay.

The League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg Area believes that the selection process should be based on transparency, community collaboration and trust.

We applaud the stated commitment of BWP and Associates, consultants hired by WJCC School Board to conduct our superintendent search, to seek community input through public meetings and a citizen survey. We encourage them, in addition, to seek input from each of the school's advisory committees.

To maximize transparency, we encourage the consultants to make public their schedule of meetings and a timeline of when decisions will be made so that citizen input can be submitted when it will have the greatest impact. The public has the right to know what is happening and who is involved. Open as many meetings as possible to public observation.

Citizen hae expressed concerns about achievement gaps, attracting and retaining quality teachers, equity in facilities, effective management of resources and planning for the future. Through transparency and collaboration, the community will have greater confidence that the candidate hired can address these issues and more. Trust in the process will result in greater trust in the person.

The public, too, must act! The League asks citizens to get involved: attend meetings, complete surveys, speak up about the issues you care about. Together, we can make a difference in our schools.

Mary Schilling, President

League of Women Voters, Williamsburg Area

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette