District hires firm to find new super by Dec.

By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
Staff Writer
reporter@sbnewspaper.com

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The San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees selected a firm at a special meeting on Tuesday to search for a new superintendent.

Trustees hired Austin-based Waterford and Associates via a 4-3 split vote. Opposing the motion for Waterford were trustees Yliana González, Hector Leal and Fatima Huerta while fellow board members Angel Mendes, Oscar Medrano and Anna Cruz voted for Waterford. The tie was broken by Board President Arnold Padilla, who voted for Waterford.

In their winning bid of $12,750, Waterford stated they will find the new superintendent no later than December. The firm not selected, George McShan of Harlingen, would comparatively have selected the new superintendent by Oct. 1.

According to Padilla, there is presently “room for negotiation” of some details contained within the $12,750 proposal. “If we (Trustees) decide to remove their proposal for a national search, the fee would be reduced by $500. That is a consideration the board can still undertake.”

Padilla added, “I feel that the board is comfortable doing a national search. Discussions were held on that aspect, that there may be other qualified candidates out there. Affording the opportunity for a national search may give us an advantage to find someone with qualifications to be superintendents in Texas.” If the national search is vetoed, the open position will only be made available for residents of Texas.

Presently, the Board estimates that this search will be “a lengthy procedure.” Padilla stated he has faith that Waterford will be quick in selecting qualified candidates based on the firm’s experience working with other school districts. He said, “The (given) timeline has generally been their accomplishment period.”

Before Waterford begins the official search for a new superintendent, trustees are taking their time to determine very specific credential requirements. This process will include a personal conversation between each individual trustee and Waterford representatives, in order to discuss itemized qualifications.

The Board is also planning to conduct open discussions among SBCISD senior staff and district administrators (including principals and teachers), in an effort to gain additional insight in the board’s quest to identify desirable qualifications of a superintendent.

Furthermore, Padilla said, “This (process) will entertain an opportunity to reach out to the community as a whole, via a survey system placed on our website to allow the public to (express) what they need (in a superintendent).”

Finally, Waterford will reach out to San Benito’s municipal leaders and city administration, in order to get their input.

“Collectively,” said Padilla, “this is a global opportunity for everyone in our community – the public as a whole—to have input (with regards to) what we will develop into the criteria that we are searching for, to help narrow down the qualifications we are looking for.”

Padilla said such qualifications up for discussion include: Would the public prefer that the district hire someone strong in business, curriculum or public relations, and would the public prefer the candidate have a doctorate degree, etc.?

Developing this very specific search criterion will be the first step to beginning the hunt, and according to Padilla, it may take several weeks.

Of the Board’s next step, Padilla said, “The firm will (then) compare applications to criterion. After that, they will narrow down applicants, and we will start to move forward.” As of press time, the Board remains in its preliminary stages of consideration and has not decided how many ‘top’ candidates trustees would like to review.

Also up for negotiation is the new superintendent’s potential salary. “Budget has not been discussed,” said Padilla. “I know that (the Board) probably will look at the medium or average pay for someone of the qualifications that the individual may have, and we will probably look at comparisons to other districts of our size and budget… then use those (statistics) as a guide to make the right decision, as to what is able to be paid.”

Essentially, Padilla expressed that the credentials of the accepted candidate will merit her or his pay scale.

Until a final selection is made, Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón will remain in charge. “Limón has agreed to continue as superintendent up until the point the district hires a new one. At that time, Mr. Limón will be reassigned,” Padilla said.

Although December is a preliminary estimate on when San Benitians might expect to meet their new Superintendent of Schools, Padilla expressed that the December deadline is only a ‘best estimate.’

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2014/07/11/district-hires-firm-to-find-new-super-by-dec/

6 comments

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    • Como es Juan on July 15, 2014 at 8:20 am
    • Reply

    I got an excellent idea. I know which firm we can hire to review resumes for the next Super and it’s for free! No cost of the taxpayers! It’s called the SBCISD School Board and Mr. Limon himself. I know it seems strange to work with this free firm, but think about it for a second. Isn’t this what we elected these members to do in the first place??? This is why San Benito will never progress, and why neighboring school districts look this way for a few laughs. Put on your big boy/girl pants and just make a decision people! Everyone wants to get elected to the board, but no one wants to step up and take the criticism. This is what you have to take into consideration when you run for public office. Not everyone will be happy with the outcome. Just make the best decision you think for our children, our community, and YOURSELVES!
    In closing, this whole process is a joke to begin with. You rode in on your high horse exonerating Mr. Limon, but then immediately want to retire him essentially. Stop letting the Chon Lopez’s of the world run the show. Stand up and be a man/woman. Stop letting San Benito be the butt of the Valley’s jokes!

    • Samantha on July 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm
    • Reply

    Superintendent Nationwide search? Well get ready to pay a lot of $$$$$
    While you wonderful board members are at it, are we the employees getting a raise? What was the talk at the finance meeting? Oh right, $600,000 to hire another consulant and a few “teachers”. When will the draining of money stop?
    People should attend the board meeting tomorrow and say something. But won’t happen for fear of losing there job at good old SBCISD….Sad,sad,sad

    • ex-student on July 14, 2014 at 9:54 am
    • Reply

    I think I’m going to open up a firm, seems to be good business here in san benito…all sbcisd does is waste money on firms to find a superintendent that is not committed to stay with the district.

    • Nina on July 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm
    • Reply

    Developing this very specific search criterion will be the first step to beginning the hunt, and according to Padilla, it may take several weeks. “Beginning the hunt”…. Mr. Board president, what a poor choice of words. And we elected this guy.

    • Gabby Gonzales on July 13, 2014 at 10:08 am
    • Reply

    When will San Benito get relief? What is it with our school board. It seems we can’t
    get it right. Everyone has an agenda that excludes the students. I can’t believe
    we are regressing rather than progressing. I implore the SBCISD board to put
    their personal agendas aside and focus on the education of our community’s
    future. No more pay backs, no more getting even, and no more abuse of
    power. In the end we will all be remembered. How does the school board of
    SBCISD 2014-2015 want to go down in history?

    • Pete on July 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm
    • Reply

    Where are all the comments??? A newspaper must be impartial and post all. Whether
    SB News agrees or not!!!

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