With long time Superintendent Ed Hatrick retiring June 30, 2014, the Loudoun County School Board began the process of hiring his successor at its Sept. 10 meeting.
The School Board, by an 8-0-1 vote with Vice Chairman Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) absent, approved the Request for Proposal for finding a search firm for the superintendent process by initiating a rider with Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates.
Hazard, Young and Attea has been used by Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Md. and Virginia Beach for their recent superintendent searches.
With school attendance zones and the budget process, among others, on the horizon for the School Board, time is of the essence as they would like to announce Hatrick's successor by May 2014.
Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) said during a Sept. 5 special meeting for the new superintendent search process, board members were interested in pursuing a request for proposal process if it could be expedited.
According to Leigh Burden, assistant superintendent for Business and Financial Services, there are typically two ways of acquiring a search firm from a procurement perspective.
“The first, of course, is the writing and issuing of an RFP, which is what we generally do if the contract is expected to be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. In our best estimation, being as aggressive as we can, we wouldn't have a result until the end of November,” Burden said. “The other option available to us is riding the Fairfax contract. The reasons for going this route are a minimal use of internal resources. If you were to choose this option that contract would come back to you all Sept. 24 for award and you could move forward.”
Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin) noted the School Board is on a tight timetable for this process and it's important for the public to know the rider can be helpful during this part of the process.
“I think it is really important for the public to understand that if there is a RFP rider that we can use, we should certainly do so to make sure [senior staff] are doing what's best for our school system in terms of getting the budget ready, helping us with attendance boundaries and all of those things,” Bergel said.
Bill Fox (Leesburg) added that this will more than likely save the board time, because if they go the longer route, it would probably result with the same findings.
“There is an extraordinary likelihood that we will end up in the exact same place that Fairfax ended up with the same firm and to go through a dog and pony show and end up in the exact same place. I don't know [if] that makes any sense,” Fox said. “I don't think it makes any sense to stretch this out any longer than we need to. This firm has been vetted in a very public five-month long process. ”