Asked on Facebook:
Since the only staff that the school committee hires is the superintendent, what are you going to be looking for in a new superintendent if you are a member of the committee that must replace Dr. Nolin?
First and foremost, I want Natick to recruit a strong leader. Something I appreciate about Dr. Nolin is her vision and commitment to driving innovation. In that way, she reminds me of some of the tech founders I've worked with over the years. I think vision drives us to be creative and to think holistically. For the leaders I've most admired, they couple this vision with self-awareness and confidence. Confidence emboldens them to surround themselves with other strong leaders who both support and challenge them. Self-awareness allows them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and to build a team with complementary skillsets. It takes a leader who balances vision with both humility and confidence to create a world class team and a culture of open collaboration.
In evaluating candidates, here are a few other criteria I'd want to consider:
Have they spent significant time as an educator? Do they deeply understand and empathize with the challenges our teacher and students are facing?
Do they have a track record of making data driven decisions in pedagogy and curriculum as well as in budget and investment proposals?
How do they grow teams from both a hiring/retention and professional development perspective.
How do they handle stakeholder engagement and outreach, including town partnerships, teachers, students and families?
What experience do they have around DE&I and what strategies have they employed previously to ensure all students feel safe and included. Do they have METCO experience?
What role does the school system play in sustainability goals from both a student education and practical implementation perspective?
What factors are considered in making capital investment proposals and do they have experience with the MSBA process and funding?
When have they demonstrated innovation and creativity in relation to problem solving or bringing new services or programming to a school or district?