By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
At a special board meeting of the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District on Tuesday, July 8, two consulting firms were enlisted to make presentations to the board regarding how each firm will service the district in its quest to hire a new superintendent.
The Board was expected to select one firm to conduct the search. Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón said on Monday that cost was at least a small part in the Board’s selection of finalists. After a formal request for proposals was made by the district, five proposals were received. “The board selected two of the five, and both of these firms bid $12,000,” Limón said. “The others were (in the ballpark of) $25,000.”
One firm, Austin-based Waterford and Associates, has expressed that, if hired, they will find the new superintendent no later than December. The second firm, George McShan of Harlingen, would comparatively select the new superintendent by Oct. 1.
On the reason for enlisting (and paying for) a consulting firm to select a superintendent, rather than hiring directly, Limón said, “A consulting firm narrows down candidates and makes sure the person they recommend to the board is highest of quality.”
The firm hired by the SBCISD Board of Trustees will select top candidates for the job, but the final hiring selection will be the sole decision of the Board. “Once a finalist has been selected, that person waits 21 days for the contract to become valid,” said Limón.
The consulting firm will be seeking “a dynamic leader that will take the district to the next level,” said Limón. The superintendent expanded, “When you search for a superintendent, you search for someone who can take your district to the next level of achievement. Basically, you’re looking for a person to come in and motivate everybody to achieve at the highest level.”
Regarding the potential salary of the new superintendent, Limón said, “Everything is between the individual and Board—negotiations of terms and money.” Many superintendent contracts last three years, and salary is typically dependent upon experience and the candidate’s highest level of schooling attained.