The Joplin school district is asking the public to give input on the search for a new school superintendent.
It's using public forums and an online survey to gather suggestions.
Josh Bard works in customer service and says he's glad customers of the Joplin school district, parents and taxpayers, will get some say into picking a new superintendent.
He took an online survey that the board is asking everyone in Joplin to answer. It offers thirty-three qualities of a superintendent and asks people to pick their top ten.
Bard said, "There was ten more I could have picked just as easily, but narrowing them down to ten, I think will help probably find that particularly thread that needs to be found."
Another parent of Joplin students, Beth Lundstrom took the survey and said the quality of working well with the media didn’t make her top ten. "I don’t need my superintendent to be a movie star,” said Lundstrom. “I need my superintendent to run a school."
The call for input offers parents and others a chance to suggest priorities. Heather Briley who has two students in Joplin schools said she hopes a new superintendent gets the community to show up to support students. She said, "What I’m concerned about is there is a lack of support for the school system in general. There seems to be a negative vibe overall, all the time."
Parents say the survey is a positive start to more community involvement.
Lundstrom said, "I love it. I’m so excited. I think it’s great that they're asking the community input, parents, teachers and students, to give them an idea how they want their school in our community to be led and organized. I think it’s a great idea."
Lundstrom took the online survey on her phone which she doesn't recommend. She says it was difficult to scroll through the thirty-three ideas for what would make a good school superintendent. She says it would be better on a computer. Either way the school board president would like to have surveys from everyone.
Board president Jeff Koch said, "We wanted to make sure we got the entire community involved and though everybody can’t come to a forum necessarily or come to a board meeting, lots of people do have access through the internet. And they can fill out a survey and we can get as much input from the public as we can."
The board is also holding public forums. Working with Ray and Associates, a search firm hired by the board. The suggestions will be tabulated to create a candidate profile.
Koch said, "And then we will tailor that search for what’s important to us. Not just the best of what’s available but the best that fits our communities desires."
Click here for a link to the list of forums and the public survey.
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