Hart school board to hear from three search firms 

The sign in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District administrative office. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
The sign in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District administrative office. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

A special meeting for the William S. Hart High School District governing board is being set for Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to hear from three search firms and select one that would be tasked with finding the district’s next superintendent. 

The three firms were selected at a special meeting on Wednesday out of an initial group of six. Those firms are: Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates; Leadership Associates; and McPherson & Jacobson. Board member Bob Jensen was not present for the meeting. 

The cost for HYA would be no more than $30,000, while Leadership would be no more than $29,500 and M&J would be no more than $25,500. 

Board member Cherise Moore asked for the latter two firms while board member Erin Wilson said she wanted to hear from HYA after seeing their report noted that 94% of superintendents that they select for school districts stay at those districts for at least three years. 

“From all the research that I did on all of those, that was the one that rose for me,” Wilson said. 

Wilson’s sentiments regarding HYA were echoed by board member Joe Messina, who said that of the six trustees he reached out to who have used HYA, four of them said HYA would be their top choice. 

However, Moore said she would have to check with an attorney to see if she would be able to participate in the HYA presentation, as she has “experience with some of the people that they identified (as members of the search team) that would make it difficult to have them do the search.” 

When asked for clarification, Moore said there were “legal issues” that she was unable to expand upon. 

The board also discussed a potential timeline for when to meet with the selected firm regarding what the board is looking for in a new superintendent. Messina said he would like the board to discuss that before meeting with the firm, though Moore said they should let the firm walk them through the process first. 

“They’re the experts,” Moore said. “If we’re going to pay them $30,000, I want to make sure we can get every bit of that $30,000 out of that firm and not have us kind of scramble and say, ‘Well, this, this and this,’ and then they come forward with the process that says, ‘Well actually, these are the kinds of things that you might be thinking about’ … So, I’d rather have them lead us through that discussion than us.” 

Messina’s argument centered around the board best knowing the community it serves and that “we need to be the driving force behind this.” 

The selection of the firm is tentatively scheduled to take place during the regular meeting on Wednesday that begins at 7 p.m. 

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