I’m not exactly sure what to expect at this event, to be held at Centennial High School at 7 p.m. But what I do know is that I have very high expectations for what a new superintendent will mean for the future of the district — and in turn, the future of the city of Champaign.
The atmosphere of the district must be changed for it to move forward and serve the needs and the desires of the community.
And I have a long wish list, indeed.
First and foremost, I want a superintendent who is out and about in the community, who doesn’t shy away from microphones, notepads, cameras, or public appearances. A superintendent who is accessible to every parent, resident or taxpayer in the district, a superintendent who cares about kids, families, teachers, and staff.
I want a superintendent who understands how important it is to COMMUNICATE, via any and every mechanism available to him or her. A superintendent who will be mindful of the mistakes of the past, but one who won’t let that past hamstring our children’s future.
I want a superintendent who understands the importance of customer service. I want a superintendent who will create of a culture of “let’s evaluate/look into/try that” instead of the current “oh no, we couldn’t do that.”
I want a superintendent who will take a good, hard look at the current school assignment process and evaluate it with fresh eyes and fresh ideas. And not just the kindergarten process, but the transfer process as well as issues regarding the wait lists and getting into a school mid-year.
I want a superintendent who isn’t afraid to make hard choices and recommendations that perhaps some people (even me!) might not like. But I want that superintendent to be thorough and judicious.
Most of all, I want a superintendent who will provide ALL of our children with a top-notch educational experience that meets — or goes above and beyond — our already high expectations.
Is that too much to ask?
Over the summer I sat down for a long talk with Sue Grey, the president of the Unit 4 School Board. We covered a wide range of topics (of course the school assignment process), but the superintendent search was Topic 1 and 1A.
And what I heard, I liked. Grey feels that the next superintendent must “change the culture of the district” and the right superintendent would be someone “that has a common vision that is shared with the community; a superintendent who listens to what people have to say.”
So now, I open up the floor to you. What feedback do you want to give the Unit 4 school board and the search firm seeking the district’s next superintendent? Add your wish list items in the comments below.
Laura Weisskopf Bleill is the co-founder and editor of chambanamoms.com. You can reach her at laura@chambanamoms(dot)com.