BOE maps job search for new schools boss

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WEST MILFORD-The search for a new superintendent of schools is in high gear. The Board Of Education met Nov. 9 with Marie Bilik, a senior field service representative of the New Jersey School Boards Association to discuss procedures to replace School Superintendent Robert Gilmartin who retires at the end of the current school year. Bilik told the board hiring a superintendent must be the board's top priority in the months ahead. They discussed at some length prior divisiveness of the board and the need for more than a majority vote to hire a replacement. She said any replacement must have the board's full support, unlike the 5-4 vote that approved hiring of the current superintendent. "Bob came from within (the school system) and had tenure. If it didn't work out, he went back (to his former position)," said Bilik. "But, for an outsider to come in on a (similar) vote. Never. Never" will it happen, she stressed, saying no qualified candidate would take a three-year superitendent's contract without the hiring board's full support. The search for a new school superintendent is a complicated process, one which actively began in October with the board reviewing search options: determining its role and selecting a consultant. It also set the hiring criteria and credentials for planned advertising and application specifications. The association consultant then holds staff and community-input sessions, and reports results to board. Jan. 9 has been set as a target date for the help wanted ad to appear in designated newspapers and web sites. Then on Jan. 23 notices are sent to colleges, county superintendents and various education-related associations. Feb. 4, has been set as the deadline for receipt of requests for applications. Later that month, on the 18th, is the established deadline for receipt of completed applications. Ten days later the consultant presents candidates; provides suggested selection process and interview questions, and gives interview training to school board. Board members review applications select candidates for first round interviews in March and early April. By mid-April, second-round interviews take place and the board narrows the candidate pool to two to four finalists. References are then reviewed and the consultant notifies finalists. In late April, interviews are set up and candidates visit the board for finalist interviews. Following that, the board holds a finalists' public forum and visits the finalist's school districts. Then in May, the school board selects a new superintendent and negotiates a contract, followed by a public announcement of their choice. At the beginning of July, 2005, the new superintendent takes over the West Milford school department reins.