It is a strange feeling to know that my time as the District Administrator of Kiel will come to an end in less than three months. For the past seven years, the Kiel Area School District has been my focus. Actually my husband would say it has been my “life”. I am personally processing my transition to retirement and this past week has made it more real for me.
On March 22, the School Board announced that Dr. Brad Ebert will replace me as the next District Administrator of the Kiel Area School District. The process of determining my replacement was a comprehensive process that was developed by our current school board. Being cognizant of spending taxpayer dollars, the seven members decided that the search for the next DA was going to be done internally - not by hiring a search firm. President Long also met with area human resources personnel to get feedback on the Board’s hiring process. The school board developed the process and timeline of the search and approved it at the February 15th board meeting.
Each member of the Board independently screened fourteen candidate files using a profile rubric generated through meetings that member Jim Bajczyk led with community members, parents and staff. It was important to the Board that the staff and community members have input regarding the character traits they desire in the next district administrator. Using the screening process, the board selected five candidates for the first round of interviews. A committee consisting of school district staff, parents, community and business partners interviewed the five candidates and made recommendations to the Board. The Board used the first-round information to determine the top three candidates to bring back for the second round of interviews.
For the second round, the three finalists spent the day in the district being interviewed by teachers, support staff, and the school board. They also toured the buildings and met with students. Later in the day the candidates met with a group of Kiel area citizens in a “meet and greet” social followed by dinner with board members.
The evening after the on site visit the Board met in executive session to review all of the feedback. They deliberated for a number of hours before choosing the top candidate. I heard from board members that they were pleased with the quality of candidates and that they had a “very hard time” making their final selection.
Reference and background checks were conducted and on Thursday, March 30th the contract was signed by Dr. Ebert. The Board will take formal action on the contract at the April 19th meeting. Dr. Ebert’s start date is July 1.
The District Administrator search process began in January. Within the months of January, February and March Board members spent a considerable amount of time meeting as a group and doing individual work at their homes. They all took their job very seriously with the goal of finding the best person to lead the Kiel Area School District.
I witnessed a comprehensive search process and a huge time commitment by all seven members. I was not an active member of the process nor should I have been. They were moving on to the next phase of leadership for the district.
As I reflected over the past three months I realized I am also moving on to my next phase. A phase that I have not thoroughly thought out yet. Maybe I should think about my own personal ‘search process’ as I prepare for a new and different lifestyle. I wish the best for the Kiel Area School District and welcome Dr. Brad Ebert as the new district administrator.