Southington school board hopes to hire a new superintendent by May

School board’s timeline to find next superintendent

Feb. 1- School board hired search consultants

Feb. 24 - Focus groups will meet to discuss expectations for next superintendent

March 6 - Community focus group at Derynoski School. Public invited and encouraged to share input.

April- Conduct interviews with candidates

May- Select next superintendent

After meeting with the superintendent search consultants the week of Feb. 3, the Board of Education has a plan and schedule for selecting a new school system leader. Focus groups will meet in the coming weeks and a new superintendent is expected to be named in May.

The focus groups will offer input on qualities and credentials. On Feb. 24, elected officials, administrators, parents, teachers, union staff, civic leaders and support staff will meet in groups.

On March 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Derynoski School, members of the public can share their thoughts on the selection of a superintendent.

“Those two days will create a profile of what the community is looking for,” said Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski.

School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr., who has held the post since 2007, was recently named Newtown superintendent of schools. His last day is April 11.

“He’s going to be hard to replace. But there are other people out there with those qualities and perhaps even more,” said school board member Colleen Clark.

Members of the school board will not attend the focus group meetings so people can feel free to discuss the issue. The school board unanimously chose Mary Broderick and George Goens, of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education’s Search Services, as search consultants.

Southington Education Association president Robert Brown said he wanted to hold off on offering opinions on the search until meetings with the consultants are finished. “Personally, I respect (Erardi) and I would like to see a person like (Erardi) back,” said the head of the local teacher’s union.

Once feedback from the focus groups is complete, the search consultants will comprise a list of qualities and conduct interviews in April. The school board hopes to hire a new superintendent in May.

“That’s the timeline that we’re shooting for,” Clark said. “It’s not set in stone.”

In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Karen Smith will serve as interim superintendent. Goralksi said the board feels very comfortable with Smith.

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