A dozen or so applicants for Schools’ director job already file

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 1:16am

Applications from would-be directors of Metro Nashville Public Schools have been received, according to the district’s search firm, but candidates most likely to be recommended for the job probably won’t throw their hats in the ring until later in the game.

Bill Attea, of the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates Ltd. (HYA), told The City Paper that 10 to 15 applications for Director of Schools have been submitted to fill the post last held by Pedro Garcia.

Serious candidates often wait until the final days before a deadline to apply, however, as the names on applications are a matter of public record, he said Monday.

“The last three days before we go to the board, that’s when they’re all going to come in,” Attea said. “All the important ones, I think.”

However, no deadline for applications has been set, and no final set of criteria has been agreed upon because the search was left to new members of the Board of Education to undertake — board members Alan Coverstone and Sharon Gentry, who will be sworn in at the board’s regular meeting tonight.

An introduction to the MNPS administration is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting, and Attea said HYA would probably address the board in a few weeks.

“The search, now, will really begin in earnest, now that the new board is elected,” Attea said. “We hope to be back in early September and plan the rest of the search.”

New and current board members — as well as many other participants in local public education — were extended invitations to a “best practices” symposium last week, designed to acquaint locals with techniques that have proven successful in other areas.

Speakers included Rudy Crew, the Miami, Fla., superintendent who impressed many Nashvillians on a recent Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce trip, as well as Tiffany Anderson, a superintendent in Montgomery County, Va.

Organization of the symposium was recommended to the board by Attea. The final cost of the event was estimated by Attea to be about $6,000, and the Tennessee Department of Education footed the bill.

Gentry said the symposium was helpful. When asked if speakers had informed her thoughts as to what should be looked for in a new director, Gentry said the new director must be “amenable” to working with the DOE. Hearing directors from other cities speak, Gentry said, indicated to her that some changes associated with state involvement at MNPS are common practice at other urban school districts.

“We’re asking for more than just someone to come in and be our director of schools,” Gentry said. “We’re asking … him or her to come in and be amenable and open to having relationships with more than just the board. There’s another entity involved here that could be somewhat intimidating for the average person. We need someone who’s going to view the state’s involvement as a reality that must be worked with.”

The Board meets tonight at 5, at the district’s central offices, 2601 Bransford Ave.

Filed under: City News
By: TNReader on 12/31/69 at 6:00

And why exactly did the state fund a symposium recommended by the headhunter looking for a new Metro director, for "participants" in local Metro education?

By: dogmrb on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Could it be that the Chamber of Commerce and Nashville Alliance/Success PAC had a conversation with the Governor about who and how the Director should be chosen? Some of the more "independent" types on the MBOE will look better and better as this thing gets meaner and uglier. It'll probably parallel the Presidential campaigns.

By: ptotaximom7 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The DOE has more than Nashville on their list to improve, members from those counties/systems were also invited and several were present at this symposium. from the DOE website...2008-09Bedford County School- Improvement 1Davidson County - Restructuring 1Madison County - Corrective ActionMurfreesboro School - Improvement 1Robertson County - Corrective Action - ImprovingSweetwater School - Improvement 1

By: uknowthatsright on 12/31/69 at 6:00

C'mon people!!! Anyone can see that there's a definite attempt to "Woo the Crew" from Miami. First, the state and chamber wigs travel down there for a "conference" where he's speaking. Then, Metro's having attending a conference here in Nashville where, let me see, Crew is speaking again. Now ain't that just the strangest coeenkeedeenk?!!!!!Just imagine what you'd think about a city if you knew they were falling all over themselves about attracting Pedro Garcia. You'd laugh your socks off cuz you know how he did here. Well, my friends, that's how the folks in Miami feel about Rudy. (I know - my sister is down there and it's the same thing we've just gone through.) We don't need another big gun, we need someone who can get the job done. Don't Woo the Crew. Don't Woo the Crew. (Join in) Don't Woo the Crew.

By: rrooney on 12/31/69 at 6:00

A quick check of Rudy Crew's background shows that he was run out of New York and Miami can't wait for him to leave either. His results are checkered and his reported salary was $245,000 in New York and $295,000 in Miami. After the fiasco with Garcia and the budget crunch in Nashville the operative questions should be - Can we afford him? Can we afford another mistake?