Disappointed with superintendent search process

To the Editor:

The COVID-19 virus is first and foremost on our minds but a major decision for the taxpayers and school children of Geneva is being made with little detail and transparency. Our community is about to choose a school superintendent who no doubt will earn between $150,000-$200,000. I assumed when I took the survey sent out by the school district regarding selecting a superintendent that it was a first step in gauging citizens’ desires. I am stunned to find out that was the extent of including Genevans!

I fully understand it is the school board’s job to hire a superintendent. However, why not include other stakeholders in an advisory capacity, like, maybe a teacher? How about a student representative, a parent, someone from HWS, someone from city government, a local business leader? This was done when selecting our City Manager, why no effort to do the same with an individual who is just as important? It is wrong to think that these people’s opinions don’t matter, we are all invested in a good selection.

I have some questions. How many people actually participated in the survey, 40, 200, 1,000? Is it a real indication of our community? I would like to know what was the interest level in the job, did it draw 12 resumes or 50? Did others find our school district inviting? How do we have only two candidates, instead of three, as most searches narrow down. It’s odd not to have three. Did someone drop out? If so, who and why?

So we are down to two finalists. Since a recent news article only indicated the school districts, and not the states that the candidates previously served, I needed to do some extensive googling. Dr. Garcia has hopscotched her way through Virginia, Long Island, Rhode Island and Connecticut in 10 years, that’s not impressive. She has not received standing ovations when she departs.

On the other end of the spectrum Dr. Green has never been the superintendent of any school district, although that should not preclude her from being a finalist. Dr. Vicky Ramos, the search consultant, is a former Rochester school district employee where Dr. Green currently is employed. Is there a connection or influence on her selection?

Finally, why are we pushing this decision forward when is going on? I would think an incoming superintendent would want to take a walk through the school when in action and meet with folks. We have hired interim superintendents before, this would seem like a good time. I am disappointed in how the school board has not been transparent in the selection process, and has limited it to a discussion among themselves.

GREGORY PECK

Geneva

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