Irvington Unveils Superintendent Wish List

At the November 30 Irvington Board of Education meeting, the Chicago-based consulting firm of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) presented the Board with an in-depth Leadership Profile Report. Hired earlier this year by the Board to assist in the recruitment of the next Superintendent of Irvington Schools, HYA listened carefully to every stakeholder on this issue. “This report is based upon interviews, focus groups and an online survey that the consultants conducted with members of the community to help the consultants decide on the desired characteristics of the next superintendent,” explained Irvington Interim Superintendent Robert Roelle.

The final 44-page report was released to the public on December 5th, and is available at under the heading “Leadership Profile Report for Next Superintendent.” Incorporating the thoughts and views of over 400 parents, teachers, administrators, community members and students, it is a significant first step in the Board’s hunt for the man or woman who will become the next Superintendent of Irvington Schools.

The final report lists a diverse mix of desired characteristics. Strengths and capabilities the District is looking for in their new Superintendent include:

• Vision and instructional leadership to help a high-performing district continue to improve.

• Board leadership skills and training skills to help the Board become a high-functioning governance body.

• Ability to build trust through open, straightforward, and frequent communication.

• A systems approach to organizational and educational improvement.

• Strong academic background from a respected institution of higher education.

• Fiscal knowledge and experience, to be able to meet the challenge of balancing strong programming and budgetary limitations.

• Ability to quickly come up-to-speed on New York State regulations and requirements.

In all, there are 15 bullet points in the report that will guide the Board in their search.

According to Roelle, the next step in the process belongs to HYA, who will commence a nation-wide recruitment process over the next several weeks. “I anticipate that probably sometime in mid to end of January, the Board will meet with the consultants again,” he said, “at which time the consultants will share with the Board of Education a number of potential candidates that meet [the district’s] desired characteristics.”

From there, the Board of Education will whittle the candidates down to five or six whom they would like to interview, and then narrow the search down after that to two or three finalists. “Hopefully by the end of February, the Board will have identified a final candidate,” said Roelle. “The Board will likely conduct a site visit, going to wherever the final candidate is currently the superintendent or assistant superintendent. They will visit that community, visit that school district, and then finalize their decision on or before March 1st.”

Assuming things go as planned, the new Superintendent will take the reigns no later than July 1st, which is when the new school year officially begins. “If the candidate were available to begin sooner than that, then the Board would entertain that [possibility],” Roelle noted.


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About the Author: David Neilsen