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Cedar Rapids school board considering consulting firms for superintendent search
Superintendent Noreen Bush to resign June 30, 2023
CEDAR RAPIDS — The next superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community School District could be chosen by January, according to timelines presented by consulting firms being considered by the school board to conduct a search for candidates.
The school board heard Monday from three superintendent search consulting firms. The board will hold a special meeting Oct. 17 to discuss and identify which firm it will select to lead the search.
The firms presenting were Ray & Associates Inc., based in Cedar Rapids; Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, based in Illinois; and GR Recruiting, based on Arizona. Each firm had 15 minutes to make a presentation to the board.
Each firm proposed similar recruiting methods. The search begins with the chosen firm interviewing school board members separately and as a board to create a profile for an ideal candidate. District staff and community stakeholders also will be interviewed to build a profile for the kind of leader Cedar Rapids schools wants.
The school board will then receive a list of top candidates and have the chance to interview them. The final few candidates will have professional background checks conducted by the consulting firm.
The consulting firms stressed their commitment to placing and supporting superintendent candidates from diverse backgrounds.
The next superintendent “probably won’t even know they are going to be a candidate,” said Gary Ray, president and chief executive officer of GR Recruiting. “Your good candidates are doing the work were they’re at. We aggressively recruit and bring you a very diverse group of candidates.”
Ray & Associates’ fee is $20,000 with additional expenses of no more than $1,500 to advertise the open position. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates’s fee is $27,500. GR Recruiting’s fee is $21,500, which includes the cost of advertising.
“Our goal is to make the decision very difficult for you, whether it’s someone here or someone from South Carolina. Our goal is to find the right fit,” said Kathy Schoenfelder, vice president of Ray & Associates.
Superintendent Bush resigns
Last month the school board accepted Superintendent Noreen Bush’s resignation effective June 30.
Bush, 51, went on medical leave in September and will remain superintendent this school year. She was diagnosed with cancer about two and a half years ago.
Serving as superintendent of Cedar Rapids schools “has been the greatest professional honor of my lifetime,” Bush said in her resignation letter.
“On a personal note, you have been a great source of strength and hope for me while I’ve been on my cancer journey,” Bush wrote the board. “My husband, our two sons, and I all wish to thank you for that support.”
“This is perhaps the most challenging letter I’ve had to write,” Bush wrote. “I truly love our district, which is why I believe for my health and the sake of the board and CRCSD, this is the best path forward.”
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