5-19-2020 School Committee Workshop



1 Superintendent Search Workshop 5-19-2020

A School Committee Workshop on the Superintendent Search was held on May 19, 2020 at 6:00 pm
via remote technology. Present were, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Doug Gutro, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs.
Emily Lebo, Mr. Frank Santoro, and Mr. Anthony Andronico Vice Chair. Also attending were Mr.
Glenn Koocher and Ms. Kathy Kelly from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and
Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mr. Koocher reviewed the options available to School Committee in selecting a new Superintendent
of Schools considering what the community expects and the strengths and needs of the district.
Quincy is a highly visible community, and the school district and city have a good reputation; the
school district is going through transition for good reasons, there are no internal crises and very few
liabilities. Since an Interim Superintendent has been appointed, School Committee can choose them
to fill the position or School Committee can have a wide search and oversee the process by screening,
interviewing, and managing the hiring locally. Under the law, School Committee may not meet in
Executive Session for the purpose of selecting a Superintendent. One option is to establish a search
committee, which will complete a confidential screening and interview process, but can contain only
three School Committee members or School Committee may decide to do the whole process in
public. Mr. Koocher said that the public process can be a challenge as administrators may have left
previous positions for confidential reasons or be unwilling to publicly indicate their interest as it may
sour the relations with their current district.

Mr. Koocher expects there will be around 30 applicants for this position. A search committee could
review all the applications and do an initial screening and recommend finalists for School Committee
to interview in public. Under normal circumstances, the candidates would visit the district and meet
staff and community members. Newspaper advertising is not used widely anymore; MASC maintains
a list of 1400 qualified candidates. MASC can provide technical assistance to districts who want to
manage their own search, at no cost. School Committees who involve the community find the search
and hiring process to be publicly accepted. Mr. Koocher said that online public meetings and online
surveys have been successful in reaching the stakeholders and assisting in developing a profile and
creating questions for interviewing the candidates.

Mr. Santoro thanked Mr. Koocher, asked how many candidates should be interviewed by School
Committee. Mr. Koocher said hopefully 10-12 of the initial 30 candidates would be interviewed by
the Screening Committee and then 3-5 candidates are interviewed by School Committee. School
Committee can set parameters, for example, stating that all internal candidates or all Quincy resident
candidates are interviewed. A larger pool of finalists is recommended because finalists may withdraw
for a variety of reasons.


2 Superintendent Search Workshop 5-19-2020

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification, Mr. Koocher said School Committee directs the Search Committee
on these parameters. Mr. Koocher said that School Committee representation on Search Committee
is very important, the other members will represent their interests and School Committee must
represent the system as a whole. Mrs. Lebo asked how many members on the Search Committee,
Mr. Koocher said 9-11 is optimal, larger groups can be difficult to schedule.
Mrs. Lebo asked if the dates can be set in advance and members must commit before they can be
part of it. Mr. Koocher said this is an effective strategy.

Mr. Gutro asked if the Search Committee is involved in developing the Leadership Profile. Mr.
Koocher said the School Committee typically develops the profile, there are many common traits,
such as communication, fiscal awareness, teaching and learning. Districts may have specific concerns
regarding facilities or community relations and look for someone with those skills.
Mr. Gutro asked if the Search Committee typically meets 3-5 times. Mr. Koocher said orientation,
developing interview questions, and interviews can usually be accomplished in that number of

Mr. Koocher said that Mr. Andronico has provided a model of the leadership profile. Some of the
critical questions: should candidate have a doctorate or advanced degree (does not recommend),
should they have experience in finance or curriculum; in a large district like Quincy with central office
administrators, a mix of credentials might be better.

Mr. Gutro asked about the survey samples shared and asked how they were developed. Mr. Koocher
said that MASC can assist with this development. Mr. Gutro asked how the survey gets shared. Mr.
Koocher said the local press can assist with publicizing the survey and the district would publish on
website, via email, and social media. Mr. Koocher said live focus groups are very important but many
more people will participate in a survey than come out to a meeting. An electronic meeting may have
wide participation. Mr. Koocher said that if MASC hosts the survey, they can filter data and share
with School Committee

Mr. Gutro asked about the tabulation of the survey, can be an arduous process. Especially with open
responses, these can be time-consuming. Mr. Koocher said that a combination of multiple-choice
and open responses is optimal. Mr. Koocher said he has found the live responses mirror the online
responses. If MASC provides technical assistance, the administration and tabulation of the survey is
part of the service provided.

Mr. Andronico asked how long the typical survey is available for the public, Mr. Koocher said for a
long time, sometimes until the interviews begin. Mr. Andronico asked if the survey would overlap
with the focus groups and Mr. Koocher agreed. Mr. Andronico asked if districts wait until the survey
data is available to finalize the leadership profile and send out the posting. Mr. Koocher said no,
these would overlap.

3 Superintendent Search Workshop 5-19-2020

Mrs. Lebo asked if focus groups have limits, Mr. Koocher said they are usually organized by types. For
example, all teachers (with no administrators), parents, community members, students, special
constituencies such as Special Education parents. Mr. Koocher said that having the survey being
available in other languages can be accommodated but there is typically very little response.
Mrs. Lebo asked what technical assistance MASC would provide at no cost Mr. Koocher said creating
promotional materials, hosting focus groups, hosting and tabulating survey data, collecting resumes,
and disseminating the vacancy information. Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
will also publicize. Other outside consultants would do these items for a fee and participate in search
committee and interview process.

Mr. Gutro asked how quickly could we move on the survey and leadership profile. Mr. Koocher said
the survey could be up by Monday and the leadership profile in a week. Mr. Koocher said the
leadership profile should not be controversial unless it is developed to exclude a certain candidate.
Mr. Gutro asked about recommended committee makeup, Mr. Koocher said teachers from different
levels, an administrator, parents, a student, a representative from municipal side (sometimes Mayors
chair the search committee), Bilingual PAC, or Special Education PAC representatives. Mr. Koocher
asked who appoints the subcommittees; under School Committee Policy, the Vice Chair does. Mr.
Koocher said there will typically be dominant participants and more thoughtful participants.

Mr. Andronico reviewed a draft Leadership Profile Survey that was shared with School Committee
and asked for comments. Mr. Santoro feels there is an overlap between section 2 and 5, and asked
for rationale. Mr. Andronico said Section 2 is an assessment of current state of QPS and Section 5 is
more about the future of Quincy Public Schools. Mr. Santoro feels that Section 5 is more important.
Mrs. Lebo agreed with Mr. Santoro, but with some editing to the wording, the two sections would

Mr. Koocher said that Section 2 lets the community define their priorities and Section 5 sets the
professional expectations. Mrs. Lebo said that labeling the sections would make the purpose more

Mrs. Hubley suggested that Section 2 ask responders to select their top three or five choices rather
than giving each one a number rating.

Mr. Koocher said that as a survey, the format allows for a representative score for each item. For a
live meeting, you would do differently, have attendees look at a list and discuss their priorities.


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Mr. Gutro thanked Mr. Andronico, excellent work in creating draft survey. Mr. Gutro asked about the
order of the items, Mr. Koocher said the order does not affect the outcome. Responses are generally
similar across communities, and this is where the open-ended responses are valuable.

Mr. Andronico would like to review in detail tonight, but no votes can be taken tonight. Time being
of the essence, he would like to review each item and be in a position to finalize at tomorrow’s
School Committee meeting.

Mr. Bregoli said he would like time to evaluate and think about this further. The school system is in a
serious situation with the pandemic and there are many items for consideration. Mr. Bregoli would
like to be thoughtful about the process.

Mr. Andronico said that there is a subcommittee for the Leadership Profile development but School
Committee indicated they wanted to do this as a whole. School Committee can take the time
needed, but would prefer not to take a month to finalize this.

Mrs. Lebo said we should use this opportunity to look at the document in front of us and move

Mr. Gutro reviewed that this is not a decision on the Leadership Profile but the finalization of the
survey. Mr. Gutro agreed that the survey should be available early next week.

Mr. Andronico said he would like to use this time to get as many thoughts as possible.

Mr. Koocher said particularly if there are any criteria that are really important, this is the time to
bring this up.

Mr. Santoro asked for clarification, the survey is not asking the stakeholders to say what the
characteristics for a superintendent are, but to choose from the list School Committee defines.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification, the items that are important to School Committee will assist with
developing the Leadership Profile.

Mr. Koocher said they will help define the decision/hiring criteria.

Mr. Gutro said this isn’t a survey for what to put in the leadership profile, what is it a survey for? Mr.
Koocher said the survey will inform the candidates and the search committee about the community
priorities. Defining key leadership skills will inform the publicity materials.

Mr. Gutro asked how the survey should be defined for stakeholders. Mr. Koocher said there would
be a narrative description. Focus groups will help identify for areas for growth, development, and
change; each constituency will surface their priorities.

5 Superintendent Search Workshop 5-19-2020

Mr. Santoro would like to add to section 5 personal characteristics: Build a positive school culture;
foster a relationship with elected city officials and city departments; possess strong ethical values; be
visible throughout the district and actively engaged in community life

Mr. Koocher said that those are important unique Quincy qualities.

Mrs. Lebo suggested adding: a safe and supportive multi-cultural community; social-emotional wellbeing
of students; teachers’ instructional technology skills. For question 5, suggests ability to interact
with students and families; understand and recognize good teaching; pursue educational equity.
Mrs. Hubley suggested that section 2 Communication with Parents should be expanded to include
means of communication (phone, email, etc). In section 5, the ability to empower the Leadership
Team to grow as individual contributors.

Mr. Bregoli suggested adding to demonstrate a long-term commitment to the district, Mr. Koocher
agreed this is a very important priority to share immediately.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, Mr. Koocher said that it needs to be made clear to the candidates
that this is not a three-year commitment for someone who will commute a long way and not be part
of the community.

For Question 1, Mr. Andronico said that some of the options can be broken down further. Mrs. Lebo
agreed that Employee category should specify teaching or administrative. Mr. Andonico said “all of
the above” could be an option. Mr. Santoro said there are other employee categories, so Mr.
Andonico suggested administrative support.

Mrs. Hubley said the option should be “parent or guardian”

Mr. Andronico asked about Question 3 and Question 4, any suggested edits? Mrs. Lebo suggested
reversing the order of the questions, the positive question should be first.

Mr. Andronico asked about Question 6, Mr. Koocher said this has been valuable in past searches.

Mr. Santoro said that during his tenure as Quincy High School Principal, the Superintendent was
instrumental in resolving several public safety issues and so would like to present the candidates with
a scenario for them to respond to. Mr. Santoro will hold this for the interviews.

Mr. Andronico asked about Question 7, Mr. Gutro asked for Mr. Koocher’s input. Mr. Koocher said
that Question 7 is likely to be one of the most informative because it gives participants the option to
mention anything not raised in the earlier questions.

Mr. Gutro asked how MASC will help with the open-ended questions.

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Mr. Koocher said there will be a summary provided and all of the data submitted to School
Committee. The data can be provided on a rolling basis.

Mr. Andronico suggested discussing next steps, including Wednesday’s Special School Committee
meeting. Mr. Andronico will compile the comments from tonight and send a revised draft to be
discussed at tomorrow’s meeting. Mr. Andronico asked School Committee to review and be
prepared to discuss and vote to move forward. Once the survey is approved, Mr. Andronico will work
with Mr. Koocher and Ms. Kelly to get the survey ready for posting.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification, the goal from tomorrow’s meeting is to finalize the survey, not the
Leadership Profile.

Mrs. Lebo said we didn’t resolve the issue about ranking system, selecting top five or ranking of all

Mr. Andronico prefers ranking of all items, Mr. Bregoli prefers selecting top five items, Mr. Gutro had
no preference, Mrs. Hubley top five items, Mr. Santoro prefers ranking of all items, Mrs. Lebo prefers
ranking of all items. Mr. Andronico returned to Mr. Gutro, he is leaning towards ranking of all items.

Mr. Andronico thanked Mr. Koocher and Ms. Kelly for their assistance.

Mrs. Hubley made a motion to adjourn the School Committee workshop at 7:45 pm. The motion was
seconded by Mr. Gutro and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.