WPS Superintendent Search: The Rumors and the Letter from SC Chair

Wildcat-themed orchids at Chicago Botanic Garden


Today while perusing some gorgeous orchids at the Chicago Botanic Garden (the Owl is visiting the Grand Owl), the bat phone (the strigine phone?) started pinging like crazy. A glance showed a number of messages with rumors of who had applied for the role of Interim Superintendent. Full disclosure: Not me. Other full disclosure: it is not the Owl’s intention to communicate these rumors though I would really really like to because it’s GOOD STUFF. I love good stuff.

In any case, the Owl reached out to School Committee member/communications lead Jeff Lucas to find out the dates and process for the interim school Superintendent. And the answer, quickly and helpfully given, was a list of dates (available at the end of this post) as well as the information that the School Committee Chair would shortly be issuing a letter about the search. And precisely 1 minute and 40 seconds later, I received the letter as a parent of students in the system. So the following is public and shareable. Here you go:


Dear Weston School Community,

I wanted to update you on the interim superintendent search.

Before moving on to the interim search process, I wanted to assure the community that regardless of who ultimately is named interim superintendent – the School Committee will hire a third-party organization to lead a full-scale search for our next permanent superintendent starting this fall. More information and opportunities to share your time, talent and opinions to help the permanent search will be shared this summer.

As for the current search, we have sought written input from teachers, community members, and students. Forums were held in smaller groups with elementary parents, secondary parents, principals and other district leaders, the PTO, the general public over zoom, and one for teachers with over 100 teacher-attendees. We received 688 responses to our community survey. At Monday’s School Committee meeting, the survey results, as well as the student, community and teacher written responses were presented. Themes and priorities derived from these forums were similarly presented.

This feedback will be used to guide the work of the screening committee composed of principal Dr. Dan Green, and school committee members Ken Newberg and Attia Linnard. The smaller size of this search committee is common for interim superintendent searches, and is the process Weston followed for our last couple successful searches to allow the work to be conducted confidentially.

School committees are provided two choices in performing initial screening of candidates – form a committee of school committee members with fewer than a majority (for us that is two) and collect the initial applications and perform the interviews confidentially or have the entire process, from start to finish, be performed by the entire committee in public. The School Committee decided at the February 27th meeting to favor initial confidentiality to encourage as many applicants to apply without fear of having their interest in moving districts or roles be made public until or unless they become named among the finalists.

Over the next two weeks, the subcommittee will be interviewing applicants; assessing candidates against the provided priorities and preferences; and verifying qualifications and licenses.  Following these steps, the subcommittee will offer “finalist status” to appropriate candidates and for those who accept, their names will be announced at the committee meeting scheduled for March 27th.

From that point forward, the School Committee will conduct all interviews, deliberations, and make all decisions in public. The process will continue to have opportunity for parents, teachers, administrators, and community member feedback.  While the details are not finalized, typically a candidate would come to Weston for an entire day to meet with teachers and administrators, attend an open parent forum, as well as having a public interview.  If the process continues as planned, these finalist interviews and visits would take place between March 28th – April 7th.

At the April 10th meeting, the School Committee will discuss the finalists and vote on whom to extend an offer.

Our goal as a committee is to be clear and keep the community informed throughout the process. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any committee member with questions or concerns. Be on the lookout for an update on or shortly after March 27, 2023.


Ken Newberg, Chair

Weston School Committee


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