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MCISD board begins superintendent search

MISSION—George McShan, the consultant hired by Mission Consolidated Independent School District to conduct a search for a new school superintendent, made a presentation to the school board Wednesday evening, May 15, outlining the details of his responsibilities. McShan also presented a tentative timeline for the search process, with a deadline of August 1.

Superintendent Dr. Cornelio Gonzalez will be moving to his new position as the executive director for the board of Region One Education Service Center in July. The MCISD board plans to begin the search process immediately, and to sign a contract with a new superintendent before the beginning of the new school year.

“As I start this process… it is going to be transparent and it is not going to be easy because each and everyone of you has expectations,” McShan said. “Trying to find a person that fits is not going to be easy.”

McShan added the district would need someone who could relate to the culture and the community as well as administration and staff. He plans to speak with the board members individually to receive their recommendations for the position.

A leadership profile assessment worksheet was given to each board member. The worksheet asks questions about the district’s strengths, weaknesses, important issues and concerns. The worksheet also asks what qualities and characteristics are needed for the new superintendent.

McShan plans to give the worksheets to administration and staff for feedback. The search firm will also have detailed discussions with city officials, community members, parents and students about what is needed from the new superintendent.

“I want to deal with a group we don’t think a lot about, and that is students. About a dozen students from secondary,” McShan said. “You would be surprised what students tell you, I find them to be very valuable. What they see through their lens is different than what we see as adults.”

McShan plans to meet with each group in separate meetings, and added the district would probably receive between 40 to 50 applicants for the position.

An important question at hand for the firm is the salary for the new superintendent; McShan said the new number would not be discussed until further in the process but had to be competitive with other districts.

“It has to be high enough to be competitive, and we know that the salary of the present superintendent is not competitive with districts of the same size,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t mind, I’ve been very happy here. But the new one (superintendent) needs a good salary.”

The current salary for the MCISD Superintendent of Schools is set at $164,417. McShan added a good salary would help keep a successful superintendent with the district for a few years. He said the salary should also not be so high that it fails to leave room for raises for other employees.

There was no discussion of appointing an interim superintendent for the next two months. Board member Oscar Martinez explained the board hopes to avoid appointing an interim person as long as they can to save money for the district. He added if the tentative timeline fails to be met, then they will move forward with discussions to appoint an interim superintendent.

Once the presentation was complete the board accepted the resignation of Gonzalez, with his contract ending on June 30.

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