Manatee schools chief candidates will undergo 2-day interview process

ejohnson@bradenton.comJanuary 25, 2013 

MANATEE -- The top five candidates for superintendent of the Manatee County School District will undergo an intensive 2-day interview process in February, board members decided at a workshop Thursday evening.

On Feb. 11, candidates will be given a tour of schools to start the day with their staff host. Throughout the day, those candidates will participate in a "round-robin" interview in which they will meet with the school board and other internal or external groups.

Representatives of the Manatee Education Association and AFSCME have requested to ask candidates questions pertaining to collective bargaining.

Board members discussed other organizations orindividuals who may also meet with the candidates -- including civil right groups, Citizen Advisory Boardcommittee members, concerned individuals and teachers.

"I'd like to hear from staff and faculty what they'd like in their future boss," said board member Karen Carpenter.

Those interested in being involved with the interview process should contact the school district.

Those groups meeting with the candidates would then be asked to provide their preferences to the school board during hiring discussions.

A public reception will be held from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Feb. 11 for people to meet with the candidates.

On Feb. 12, board members will meet one-on-one with each candidate to ask follow-up or additional questions.

David Gayler, interimsuperintendent, provided board members with sample questions divided into the categories of personal, teaching and learning, finance/organization, employee relations/bargaining, relationships, miscellaneous and wrap-up. Board members sorted through the questions, choosing the most important and altering certain phrasing.

Julie Aranibar said she would like to ask aboutthe costs and benefits ofparticular programs and departments as well as learn each candidate's observations and recommendations of the district's organizational chart.

Dave Miner presented his own questions concerning "courageous acts" of professional career, High Stakes testing, transparency and visibility and involvement of parents and guardians.

Bob Gause plans to ask about strategies to close the achievement gap, budget process and priority funding and experience with collective bargaining units.

Barbara Harvey chose questions pertaining to STEM, teacher training, community and district trust of the school board and what impact the candidate could have in the district.

Carpenter would like to focus on accountability and evaluations of school board and superintendent, strategic plans of working cohesively and career academies and technology.

Each board member will have about 18 minutes to ask questions. Candidates will receive the questions prior to the interview.

Also discussed at the meeting was the board agenda format, primarily reworking of public comments to allow for agenda items to be discussed sooner in efforts to shorten meetings.

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