By Lisa Capobianco
The search for a new Southington superintendent continues as the school board’s consultants recently completed focus groups, where they met with members of the community from all walks of life to determine the ideal characteristics of the district’s next leader.
Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski said the school board will meet with the consultants during executive session this week to continue the planning process and review findings of the leadership and management profile these focus groups contributed to. This profile will help identify candidates that best match the requirements of the school district and the community.
“We’ll continue these updates for our community throughout this process,” Goralski said during a recent Board of Education meeting.
The consultants, Dr. Mary Broderick and Dr. George Goens, conducted a series of focus groups for feedback on the desired qualities and characteristics of a new Superintendent of Schools. From elected officials to civic leaders to students, parents and teachers, the consultants interviewed all members of the community. They also met with business leaders, union presidents, school administrator, central office staff and support staff.
Dr. Broderick said ten focus groups, which were well represented by the community at large.
“We heard from administrators, support services, parents, teachers, students, elected officials, business leaders—rich input from all stakeholders of the community,” said Broderick, adding that the leadership and management profile has consistent “themes” of characteristics and qualities that the community looks for in an ideal superintendent.
During the interview process, which is scheduled for April, a series of semi-finalists will be interviewed, from which several finalists will be chosen, according to a past press release from the Board of Education. The school board expected to select a new Superintendent in May.
Broderick added that there have been a “good handful” of applications at this point, and expects to interview the candidates in April.
“We don’t want to rush it,” said Broderick.
Southington Supt. of Schools Dr. Joseph Erardi announced his resignation in January to accept the position of superintendent in Newtown. He became superintendent in Southington in 2007, replacing Dr. Harvey Polansky, and previously served as superintendent in Watertown and Bolton.
Dr. Erardi’s last day is April 11.