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EVSD finalizes contract with search firm

The East Valley School Board approved a letter of agreement between the district and Northwest Leadership Associates, the search firm the board selected to find its next superintendent.

The agreement lays out the responsibilities of Northwest Leadership and includes a performance guarantee – if no acceptable candidate accepts the job or if the selected superintendent resigns from the position or is dismissed for cause during the first year of his or her employment, the search firm will conduct a comparable search for a replacement without charge.

The agreement also spells out four phases they will complete in the search, beginning with preparing for the search by meeting with the board, selected groups and individuals and preparing an initial draft of the vacancy announcement.

The next phase will be recruiting and screening potential candidates, which would include emailing potential candidates, placing announcements in selected journals and newsletters and screening all valid applications.

The third phase, interviewing candidates, will include meeting with the board to discuss all qualified candidates. Northwest Leadership will recommend four to 10 of the best qualified candidates and help the board decide which ones the district will invite for interviews. It will also help the district come up with appropriate interview questions and will arrange visits by the board to the candidates’ current districts.

The last phase, making the selection, includes meeting with the board to evaluate each candidate, notifying unsuccessful candidates and if the board requests it, assisting with contract negotiations with the successful candidate.

If the search is successful, the new superintendent should start July 1, 2015.

For the district’s part, the agreement stipulates the district will pay Northwest Leadership Associates $12,800, which will cover all reasonable and customary expenses, including consultant travel to the district. Either party can terminate the agreement by written notice. Should this occur, Northwest Associates will receive a prorated payment.

The agreement was approved by the board unanimously, with the exception of Fred Helms who missed the meeting after a recent surgery. There was no discussion.