116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Educators and residents want to see the next superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community School District be someone with experience in leading a diverse school district, be good at relationship building and have a proven track record of student achievement.
A profile of desired characteristics in a superintendent is being presented to the Cedar Rapids school board Monday as the board aims to identify the district’s next leader as early as January. The profile was compiled by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates — an Illinois firm selected by the board last month to identify candidates to become the next superintendent.
The district hosted more than 20 in-person community, parent and student input sessions earlier this month by invitation only. The district emailed invitations to more than 12,000 families and students, 2,500 staff, 24 civic leaders, 48 community partners and 46 community leaders.
Four virtual community input sessions also were held earlier this month, and a survey sent out to “gather perceptions” of the school district and “determine the desired characteristics of the new superintendent,” according to a district newsletter.
The survey was completed by 1,040 people, including:
- 394 teachers,
- 335 parents
- 162 support staff
- 96 community members
- And 44 administrators.
Of those who responded, 844 marked that they were white, 134 didn’t say, 19 were Black, 14 were Hispanic or Latino, 10 were two or more races, seven were Asian, three were Pacific Islanders and one was Native American or Alaska Native.
Based on the data collected, residents want to see a superintendent who:
- Fosters a positive, professional climate of mutual trust and respect among faculty, staff and administrators;
- Recruits, employs and retains effective personnel throughout the district;
- Provides transparent communication;
- And understand and is sensitive to the needs of a diverse student population.
In the multiple choice survey, respondents responded that the strengths of the district include technology integration in to the classroom, employing effective staff, providing a clear vision for the future, educators who address individual learning needs and working to close achievement and opportunity gaps.
School board members responded they are looking for someone who is an effective communicator, is a visible and approachable member of the community, can lead diversity and equity initiatives as it relates to human resources and student achievement and is committed to staying with the district for a significant period.
Former Superintendent Noreen Bush, 51, died Oct. 23. She was diagnosed with cancer more than two years ago.
Art Sathoff, the retired superintendent of the Indianola Community School District, was named interim superintendent last month in a 6-1 vote. Sathoff’s contract calls for the $167,000 salary through June 30, as well as benefits.
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