The selection of the next superintendent of Wake County Public Schools in in your hands.
The school board has opened a survey to the public for feedback on the qualities and characteristics of the next superintendent. This is the first step in the process to replace Dr. Jim Merrill, who will step down Feb. 1, 2018 to retire. The school board has hired the North Carolina School Boards Association to manage the search process, and the job was posted last week. The community input period ends Jan. 17, 2018.
Everyone is welcome to participate in the survey, including people who don’t have children in the public schools. The next leader will inherit a 160,000-plus student school system that is heading in a positive direction, but that pathway isn’t always clear. With dozens of competing needs, uneven enrollment growth, and ever-changing funding, the future of Wake County Public Schools is going to be a maze of potential pitfalls.
On top of that, the next superintendent will be measured against the high standards set by Merrill, who provided stability, focus, and vision to the school system after a period of political controversy and discord. He ushered the community through a strategic planning effort that became the Vision 2020 blueprint for the next five years. The next superintendent will have to shepherd that plan to completion and presumably chart a new course beyond 2020.
Attorneys from the School Boards Association who will be conducting the search made a presentation to the school board last week that laid out the timeline for selecting Merrill’s permanent replacement.
- January 23: Review of Community and Staff survey results; development of Leadership Profile.
- January 30: Application period ends.
- February 9 – 20: School board members review all applications to select interview candidates.
- March 9 – 16: Initial interviews (closed to public).
- March 29 – April 3: Final Interviews (closed to public).
- April 3 – 10: Contract discussions with finalist.
- April 10: Announcement and introduction of new superintendent
The start date for the new superintendent has not been set. An interim superintendent will be named in early 2018. Additional details can be found on the district’s Superintendent Search Page.