As part of the ongoing superintendent search process the Newton County Board of Education asked members of the public to weigh in via an online survey on what qualifications and characteristics the next superintendent should have.
The results were tabulated and now will provide the school board invaluable assistance as they choose the next person to lead Newton County Schools.
Nearly 1,000 NCSS parents and employees, as well as many Newton County residents, took time to respond to a survey, which provided feedback to the Newton County Board of Education on what the public wanted to see in their next superintendent.
When asked how important it is that the next superintendent have a terminal degree such as Ph.D. or Ed.D., over 45 percent stated it should be mandatory with another 43 percent feeling that it is important but should not be mandatory. Twelve percent stated it was not very important.
Respondents were also asked how important it is that the next superintendent has previous experience as a superintendent. Roughly 39 percent said it should be mandatory; however, the majority —approximately 49 percent determined it to be important but not mandatory.
Those taking the survey did, however, by large majority, think that the next superintendent should most definitely have experience as a principal. Seventy-six percent stated it should be mandatory with another 21 percent saying it is important but should not be mandatory.
Respondents overwhelmingly expressed their opinion that the next superintendent should have experience as a classroom teacher. Eighty-four percent said it should be mandatory and 14 percent said it’s important but should not be mandatory.
When asked if it was important that the next superintendent have previous experience in private business, 7 percent said it should be mandatory, 49 percent said it’s important but not mandatory, and approximately 44 percent did not consider it very important.
Survey participants were also asked to pick from a list of choices, the two most important areas the new superintendent should have a documented history of leadership in.
Approximately 74 percent of the respondents chose “community organizations and other community affairs.” An additional 53 percent selected professional organizations, 41 percent stated that public speaking and other oral communications was important, and 23 percent said publications and other written communications were important.
In addition, survey participants were also asked to rate areas they felt the new superintendent should have special expertise and three were the overwhelming choices—administration, curriculum and budgets, with each receiving over 80 percent of the votes. Also ranked high was personnel with 63 percent and school law with 50 percent. Technology and facilities received 35 percent and 30 percent respectively.
A breakdown of survey participants revealed that 38 percent were parents or guardians of NCSS students, 11 percent were non-parent members of the community, and 51 percent were employees of the NCSS.
“We appreciate everyone taking the time to provide feedback,” Abigail Coggin, BOE chair said. “The information from the public will be invaluable as we finalize our selection of the next leader of Newton County Schools.”