ESC group to assist with search for new superintendent
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 11:41 AM
By CANDY BROOKS

ThisWeek Community Newspapers
The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESC) has been hired to assist in the search for a new superintendent of schools.

The Worthington Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to hire the center, which was recommended by a committee that interviewed three search firms on March 4.

ESC is an agency that supports school districts in Franklin, Delaware, and Union counties. It has assisted in administrator searches in Dublin, Granville, Olentangy and other school districts.

According to its proposal, the ESC will take approximately nine weeks to complete its four-step process, which will cast a nationwide net for a superintendent to succeed Melissa Conrath.

Conrath announced last month that she will retire in October, or as soon as a replacement can be found. She has been superintendent for five years.

The search process will begin with a needs assessment, through which it will be determined what kind of leadership skills are needed and wanted by the district; candidate recruitment, through which local, state, and national organizations will be notified, and a "targeted" search will be included; screening; interviews; and contract negotiations.

The Ohio School Board Association (OSBA), which commonly conducts superintendent searches in Ohio, and School Exec Connect, a private firm from Highland Park, Ill., were also interviewed by school board president Marc Schare, board member Charlie Wilson and Conrath.

One outstanding quality of the ESC is the cost. It will not charge the district for its services, except for expenses.

"They are already being paid by taxpayers' dollars from the state or our district," Schare said.

OSBA proposed charging $6,900, plus expenses such as advertising, printing, postage, telephone, travel, screening committee costs, brochures and site visitations.

School Exec Connect proposed charging the district not more than $23,300.