Board hires contractor for superintendent search
FAIRFIELD — Fairfield school board approved a contract with Ray and Associates Inc. Monday to conduct a search for a school superintendent.
The board had invited four search teams to make presentations about services, fees and the process used to search, screen and recommend applicants to the district. The board interviewed two search teams March 19 and two more March 24, and voted 4-1 to hire Ray and Associates at the end of the second presentation meeting a week ago.
“We preferred the process presented by Ray and Associates,” said board president Jennifer Anderson.
The approved contract provides a base fee of $6,000 to Ray and Associates with expenses billed as they occur. Travel, lodging, meals, postage, fax, photocopying, long-distance phone charges and other search-related expenses the district would reimburse. Advertising expenses also will be billed to the district.
The two consultants from the search firm, Linda Brock, a retired Fort Madison schools superintendent, and Ned Sellers, spent Monday in Fairfield meeting with stakeholder groups.
“We met with a student group, administrators, support staff, teachers and a parent/community group,” said Brock.
Each of the five groups met with the consultants separately. Brock and Sellers wanted to hear the groups’ opinions about desired traits in a superintendent. Fairfield High School Principal Aaron Becker said the student group consisted of juniors and seniors, most of them serving in student government.
The consultants also conducted interviews individually with six of the seven school board members as of Monday.
The board and consultants worked out a timeline for the search Monday, the screening and interviewing process, selected advertising venues and set the new superintendent’s salary at $153,000 with the same benefits currently in place, which includes single medical insurance coverage.
Fairfield’s outgoing Superintendent Art Sathoff is being paid $139,900 this school year. Sathoff’s contract with Fairfield was set at $144,000 for school year 2014-15 and at $149,040 for school year 2015-16. He has been hired to take the superintendent’s job in Indianola beginning July 1, with three-year contract at $200,000 a year.
Brock and Sellers provided a superintendent base salary comparison chart of similar-sized Iowa school districts.