Superintendent search process begins during special Seguin ISD meeting
Posted on 3/9/2017 6:40:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- The search for Seguin ISD's new top administrator is officially underway. The Seguin ISD Board of Trustees Tuesday night unanimously voted to discuss its superintendent selection options in open session rather than behind closed doors as posted on the agenda. Absent from the meeting was Board President Ishmael Flores. Making the motion to discuss the item before the public was trustee Elaina Reihl. It was seconded by Trustee Ben Amador.
 
The discussion included four possible superintendent search law firms and companies who were all willing to do the job. Each option was brought forth by the district's legal counsel Chris Schulz, an attorney with the law firm Schulman, Lopez, Hoffer & Adelstein.
 
Schulz stated that his job Tuesday night was to simply provide impressions of the different proposals submitted so far for the district's consideration.
 
"A lot of the board members have not gone through the process of finding a new superintendent. So what we presented tonight were the options of outsourcing the search for superintendent to either a law firm or just TASB or another consultant firm so just various options for looking for a superintendent that don't involve doing it in house," said Schulz.
 
The search firms that were presented included Walsh Gallegos, Thompson & Horton, Arrow, and TASB (Texas Association of School Board) Executive Search Services.
 
The firms were not debated, but publicly reviewed by the board.  Walsh Gallegos and Thompson & Horton were both described as being on the higher end when it came to cost -- averaging approximately $16,000. Both also came with a positive reputation and were described more as a turnkey option -- meaning an all inclusive package, which took care of everything needed in a superintendent search. While varied between both firms, some of those extra services included contract negotiations, advertising, and legal documents.
 
Walsh Gallegos is also known for leading the school district's last superintendent search under the direction of Dr. Ann Dixon who served as the school board's consultant on the superintendent search process.
 
As for Thompson & Horton, the firm was noted for relying heavily on community input -- pulling in some form of community involvement during its superintendent search.
 
Both TASB and ARROW averaged between $6-8,000. Although much cheaper, Schulz says that both did not include some additional yet necessary services such as contract negotiations -- Despite that fact, Schulz stated that each are still very reputable and would be sufficient to meet the district's needs if desired.
 
Schulz says while the district isn't limited to these particular options, it's a good beginning and moves the district towards a new superintendent.
 
"We'll probably decide now that we're going to conduct the search and figure if they are going to outsource it to some firm or do it in-house. So they just have to make a decision based on what they want to do," said Schulz.
 
Trustee Cinde Jimenez, who chaired the meeting in Flores' absence, made her thoughts known about the timing for the search and the board's responsibility to do the best job possible.
 
"I'm also a little afraid that we're behind in the game. I do believe that many of the superintendents that are looking to relocate are actively involved in other searches so I do hope that we can move as quickly as possible but that being said, means that we need to make sure we get the best possible person to fit this community and this school district so we need to do our due diligence in every department," said Jimenez.
 
Following their discussion on the superintendent search, trustees went behind closed doors to discuss the other item on listed the agenda. The item included "deliberate search for Interim Superintendent." The board returned to open session but did not take any action on either agenda item.
 
The search comes after last week's decision by the board to separate with former Superintendent Stetson Roane. The decision was the result of a complaint filed against him and the investigation that followed. 


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