Small turnout on hand to discuss next Quincy superintendent
8 months ago by Denise Donley
Timeline is for applications to come in now through the end of October
A handful of Quincy residents attended Wednesday night’s meeting to voice their opinions on what qualities, strengths and goals the future Quincy Public School superintendent should possess.
School Exec Connect is the search and consulting firm hired by the Quincy School Board to run the search for a new superintendent and representatives from the company ran the meeting at Quincy High School.
Diane Robertson and Ed Olds, representatives with School Exec Connect, first explained to those in attendance at the meeting the timeline and process that would go into selecting a candidate for the superintendent position.
Before opening up the floor to comments, Olds said, “Part of our process is we try to gather important information from the community, staff etc. to see what qualities the public is looking for in a superintendent. We also want to hear from the community to be able to pass along to candidates what Quincy is all about.”
Audience members then began to speak up about what they would like to see in the person who would oversee Quincy Public Schools.
Quincy resident Kurt Leimbach: “I think it’s important that Quincy Schools get a good superintendent. We have a great school system here. We need someone to maintain that quality and everybody’s going to have their own concerns, we had our own concerns, but it’s a great school system. It’s great because we’ve had great leadership in the past and we want to make sure we have that in the future.”
A representative of Quincy Rifle team: “We need a superintendent who is pro-gun and won’t panic with the thought of students shooting guns as a supervised sport. We are concerned there could be a major negative reaction that could eliminate the team. The rifle team is not currently supported by district, and we would like to be put back in some sort of financial support. We need someone who will recognize the value of such an excellent team and coach and seek to restore funding from the athletic budget.”
Mother of two QPS students, Rhonda Klesner: “I really want somebody that’s going to unify the community, the board, the parents, even the staff. Just everybody get on the same page to what’s truly best for the kids, not just what is easy or what people want.”
Comment from a person who wanted to remain nameless: “I would like to know if the new superintendent is one that is supportive of the no child left behind or some other type of program. There are some districts in other cities and states that have gotten permission to opt out of that program. What would the new superintendent do? Continue on with the school district’s policy to operate under that umbrella or what his or her opinion is on that?”
Residents also stressed the importance of having the superintendent involved with the community and the community supporting the school as a whole. Specific characteristics residents said they’d like a superintendent to possess include honesty, integrity, ability to develop relationships with any individual or group, is a leader, genuine, patient and able to get along with difficult people, sense of being a servant to all, strength, good morals and values and respects the traditions of the district.
After the meeting, Robertson said, “I think everybody had a chance to speak up and voice their opinions, desires and concerns and I think everybody that was in the room did do that. I think there was a general consensus as to what Quincy needs for the new school leader.”
Candidates are now applying online, and the application deadline is the end of October. Robertson says the goal is to have a candidate sign a contract by the end of December or beginning of January and begin their duties July 1. If you weren’t able to attend the meeting, you can complete a confidential online survey at www.qps.org by clicking on the Survey for Superintendent Search.