Superintendent Search

Scottsdale Schools lays out criteria for new superintendent


The Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board officially approved the selection criteria for its superintendent search, lining out what exactly the board wants in a superintendent.

SUSD Legal Counsel Michelle Marshall brought forth four bullet points at the board’s Nov. 5 special meeting. Per the Governing Board’s decision, the next superintendent must demonstrate:

  • Data-driven decision making that has produced successful academic outcomes for all children;
  • A culture of accountability to all stakeholders of the schools and community;
  • A strategic approach to identifying the needs of the district and our students and possess the ability to develop plans that target measurable growth in identified critical areas; and
  • An understanding of the importance of creating an exceptional educational experience that enables the district to attract and retain students, parents and staff.

These criteria points stemmed from an Oct. 23 discussion with McPherson & Jacobson search consultant Dr. Steve Joel. The board recently selected McPherson & Jacobson to continue the search for superintendent candidates.

The board made one change prior to voting, which included a switch from “a record of accountability” to “a culture of accountability.”

Board member Sandy Kravetz prompted the change because she believed using the word “record” would imply just the superintendent was accountable when the district was looking for someone who could bring accountability to the entire district.

“I guess I want to be more specific because when we’ve gone through this process before, there was a disconnect sometimes between what we thought and what they thought,” she said.

“This way, it leaves no question about what the intent is or what it is we are looking for.”

This is the second year SUSD has used McPherson & Jacobson to seek a new superintendent. The district used the Nebraska-based firm last year but the search did not yield any candidates that met the board’s approval.

As a result, Superintendent Dr. John Kriekard signed another contract to stay on with the district until the end of the 2019-20 school year.

McPherson & Jacobson offered to provide search services for the remainder of the 2018 contract and the board accepted.