By JACOB LOPEZ
San Benito CISD officials have confirmed new details in the search for a new superintendent, which is headed by Waterford School Services Inc.
Arnold Padilla, president of the SBCISD Board of Trustees, specified Friday that the search for a superintendent is “on track.”
Dr. Jess Butler and Dr. Felipe Alanis, consultants with Waterford, are in the process of finding a new superintendent based on certain qualifications and character traits set forth by school district officials, faculty and the public through open forums.
“Dr. Butler and Dr. Alanis have kept us abreast, via email, as to what they’ve been getting as far as interest,” Padilla said.
Currently, Padilla said the board is not aware of an exact number of applicants but did confirm a “considerable amount of interest” for the post.
“They have estimated — not said direct numbers — that there is about 25-30 applicants that are interested,” Padilla said.
Padilla said the estimation includes those who have applied and may, or may not include individuals who have simply expressed interest and said that they will apply for the position.
“So we do believe that by the time of the closing date of the application period, that we will have a substantial number of applicants,” Padilla said.
From that pool of applicants, Alanis and Butler will sort through the applicants, conduct background checks and reviews to narrow down potential candidates for the position.
Those potentials will be broken down into another set of groups, according to Padilla. They are divided into those who meet the criteria, those who come close to meeting the criteria, and those who show promise, but do not come as close to meeting it.
“This will give an opportunity for the board members to evaluate the applicants,” said Padilla, adding, “and do our due diligence, and make sure that the right individual is selected.”
Alanis specified on Friday that of the applicants, as many as five hail from out of the state. In addition, Alanis said that the board has expressed a desire to “expedite” the process.
“The Board wanted to expedite it (search for a new superintendent) a little bit, so we’ve cut down about a week or so, or 10 days,” Alanis said. “It’ll vary based on the board’s schedule to meet with them (applicants) and interview.
“We’re looking at maybe Nov. 1 to 10 is when the board names a lone finalist and goes into a 21-day waiting period – ending sometime in early December,” added Alanis, himself a former SBCISD superintendent. “That’s the target date right now, it may change a little bit but that’s what we’re basing it on right now.”
Until then, the Board does have access to all the applicants, but are not part of the initial selection process to be performed by Waterford.
Padilla indicated that if things go as planned, by “around the 20th of October, we should be narrowing down our selection to maybe the top two candidates – or three.”
“If everything goes well, and we believe it will, we should have someone selected by the first week of November, and possibly coming on board by the latter end of November to maybe … the first week of December,” Padilla said.
“We’re all ready to bring someone new on board, for no reason other than to move the district – and to continue moving the district – forward,” said Padilla. “I have no doubt that we will find a qualified individual amongst this amount of applicants.”
Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limon has said that he is not taking part in the process.
“I’m not involved in that at all as per board request. … So I couldn’t tell you anything about it,” said Limon, adding, “I have a contract with the district for two more years, and my contract calls for me to become Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.”