Superintendent Search

The School Board has begun the process for a Superintendent Search.  It is the intent of the members of the Board to lead a transparent process, offering widely distributed updates along with opportunities for community input.  The Superintendent Search webpage will be updated regularly, and members of the community are encouraged to visit often. 

In the meantime, Superintendent Peter Grant continues to move our district forward in support of our strategic plan and district goals, including increasing the academic achievement of all students, implementing strategies to engage students in their learning and interventions to eliminate barriers to student success, establishing partnerships with our families and community, ensuring that systems are culturally responsive and generating and equitably allocating resources for programs and services that enable every student to succeed.  Superintendent Grant's contract runs through June 30, 2017.

School Board Qualities and Characteristics Desired in Our Next Superintendent

Leadership and Management

  • Proven track record of creating a climate of trust and must be grounded in excellence, setting high expectations for Owatonna Public Schools as an organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to align the talent with the needs of the district, will demand accountability and competence from leaders within the organization; must have sound management experience especially in recruitment and selection of staff and administrators.
  • Knows how to provide for others in the district to become, and serve, as leaders (development of direct reports).  He/She will be comfortable creating and growing leaders, and be a “leader and learner.”

Educational Leadership

  • High expectations for teacher and student performance; ability to enhance student performance, especially in identifying and closing the gaps in student achievement.
  • Has a 21st century educational vision for the district, can articulate it, and is able to work with the Board, staff and community to plan and implement programs to meet the current and future needs of this district and its students.
  • Someone who is serious and dedicated to education, and who understands the dynamics and intricacies of instruction for students of all backgrounds, and has the ability to connect and lead rather than manage all staff and the board of education.  The next superintendent should be a collaborator who includes staff and administrators in the decision-making process.

Communication Skills

  • Approachable across multiple audiences and types of people, cares about people and the district’s mission; foster dialogues with parents, teachers, etc. and keep open the lines of communication.
  • Strong communicator:  speaking, listening and writing.

Community and Parental Engagement

  • Able to reach out and make positive connections with parents, the business community, community groups, organizations, foundations, local colleges, the city and political leaders in order to better serve the needs of the district and help set direction both in educational programs and facilities.

Strategic Direction

  • Seeks to understand what is needed in Owatonna Public Schools; commitment to building upon and improving the system; transparent about our current reality and develop a collaborative plan.

Date specific components of the process (updated regularly):

  • Board review of a draft survey at the Board meeting on Monday, June 13, 2016
  • Board review of tentative timeline for the search process reviewed on Monday, June 27, 2016
  • Release of an online survey Monday, July 25, closing August 5, 2016
  • Staff engagement forums to gather input for Leadership Profile scheduled at 4:00 PM Tuesday, July 26, 2016 (OHS Small Group Forum) and 4:00 PM, Wednesday, August 3, 2016 (OHS Small Group Forum)
  • Community engagement forums to gather input for Leadership Profile scheduled at 6:00 PM Monday, August 1, 2016 (OHS Small Group Forum) and 11:00 AM, Wednesday, August 3, 2016 (District Office Boardroom)
  • Board to finalize Leadership Profile with substantial input from staff and community at the Board meeting on Monday, August 8, 2016
  • Official posting of the Superintendent position on September 1, 2016
  • Official close date for Superintendent posting is on October 17, 2016
  • Application screening by Board will take place October 24, 2016 through November 4, 2016
  • Selection of semi-finalist candidates announced after the School Board Work Session on November 7, 2016
  • Semi-finalist interviews will be held on November 14 and November 15, 2016
  • Finalist interviews will be held on December 5, 6, and 8, 2016

Update - November 1, 2016:  Semi-finalists decision expected to be made at November 7 meeting

Our School Board will make its decision on semi-finalists at a work study session to be held on November 7, 2016 and our semi-finalist round of interviews will be held on November 14 and 15 at the District Office.  The intent of our interview process is to provide the candidate an opportunity to meet with members of the executive cabinet and School Board.  After the semi-finalist interviews, the Board will narrow down the pool to finalists (no more than 3 candidates) and the finalists will spend an entire day with staff and administration, and cap the day with a final interview.  The dates selected for finalists are December 5, 6, and 8.  Please check our website for final schedules later in November.

Update - August 4, 2016:  Community and Staff Input on Superintendent Search Collected

As part of the School Board's search for a new Superintendent, the Director of Human Resources, Chris Picha, engaged staff, parents and community in discussions of important characteristics for potential candidates, as well as suggestions for screening and interview questions.  The outreach process concludes on August 5, 2016.  The School Board members have begun analyzing and reviewing the input.  There were over 470 responses to the survey, and six engagement forums with staff and community.  The ideas and issues discussed will help the Board determine which applicants to interview, and what questions to ask of candidates.  An executive summary of the feedback will be shared at the School Board meeting on August 8, 2016.