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P-R agrees to pay $15,000 on search for superintendent

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 10:11 p.m.

Pine-Richland School Board plans to spend $15,000 to find a new superintendent.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association will get that sum to nationally advertise the job opening and recruit potential candidates, among other services.

Pine-Richland school directors unanimously voted Nov. 26 to approve the expenditure for PSBA's consulting services.

“We go out all the time and give presentations to (school) districts who are looking to hire a consulting firm or some organization to help them in their search process ... because it can be a very time-consuming process,” said PSBA spokesman Steve Robinson.

The PSBA, a nonprofit trade group based in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, serves Pennsylvania's approximately 500 school districts.

“Somebody is always looking for a superintendent at some point,” said Robinson, director of publications and public relations for PSBA.

A divided Pine-Richland School Board voted 5-3 on Oct. 1 to seek candidates to replace current Superintendent Mary Bucci, whose current contract expires June 30. School directors Dr. Jeff Banyas, Therese Dawson and Stephen Hawbaker, board president, opposed the move to replace Bucci.

Last month, the board voted to give Bucci a retroactive, 3 percent pay raise, which boosted her salary from $135,200 to $139,256 for the 2012-13 school year.

Tom Templeton, assistant executive director of school board and management services for the PSBA, will lead the search for Pine-Richland School District's new superintendent.

“We advertise the position. We recruit. We help candidates with the application process,” Templeton said. “We help the (school) board through all aspects of looking at candidates' credentials. We help with the interviews of candidates ... We do all the reference and background checks of the candidates.

“Once a candidate has been selected, we help with additional work between the board and the superintendent in an attempt to ensure there is a successful partnership,” Templeton said.

Templeton said PSBA generally charges $10,000 to $15,000 for its executive search services, “depending on the package the district selects,” he said.

“Traditionally, the way the process works, the position is posted in a variety of different venues and outlets,” he said. “There are a lot of industry sources that professional educators look to ... A lot of the postings are electronic.”

Templeton cited PSBA's online site and Education Week, a print and online publication, as possible outlets for an ad listing the Pine-Richland superintendent's job opening,

Templeton said he doesn't know how many Pennsylvania school districts are looking for new superintendents — or how many candidates might be interested in becoming superintendent of Pine-Richland School District.

“The pool (of candidates) has become shallower over the last 10 to 15 years,” Templeton said.

“I think this would be an attractive position for candidates.”

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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