Updated at 8:13 a.m. ET Tuesday
The Columbus City School board has picked a firm to lead its latest superintendent search. A previous search was abandoned over the possible violation of open meetings laws.
School board members heard presentations from four firms bidding for the chance to help Columbus city schools find its next leader. The one firm every member agreed on was BWP and Associates of Illinois.
Board member Shawna Gibbs led the process, and she says even though the decision was unanimous, it wasn’t easy.
“All of those firms have a long history and experience of working with districts and so any one of them probably could’ve worked, but we’re happy that we were able to find consensus on one that we think will help us find the next best superintendent for Columbus city schools,” Gibbs says
To varying degrees, all the firms admitted Columbus’ failed search will present challenges this time around. Cost estimates from the firms ranged from about $35,000-$50,000, with BWP coming in a bit below $40,000.
The Columbus City School board plans to choose a search firm tonight to lead its second attempt at finding a new superintendent.
The superintendent search begins in earnest on Monday night, the first of seven scheduled hearings, as board members plan to select a search firm.
The decision has proven trickier than immediately apparent. Firms sometimes sign non-tampering agreements once they place an official, meaning a candidate might be off-limits for one firm but not another.
The school board’s search hearings are set to stretch into late August.
The original search fell apart after a number of finalists dropped out, leaving interim superintendent John Stanford as the only remaining candidate.
After some board members said decisions about candidates were made behind closed doors, the Ohio Auditor threatened action unless the search was scrapped and restarted.