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The Non-Traditional Candidate

May 15, 2018


This article discusses hiring a non-traditional candidate for your Head of School or Superintendent position.

What, exactly, is a non-traditional candidate, and why would a Board of Trustees consider one?  The answer to the first question is fairly straightforward:  A non-traditional candidate is someone from outside of the education establishment—someone who’s been successful in the business world, someone who’s retired from the military, a university administrator, or an executive from any other walk of life.  


The answer to the second question is more complicated:  If what’s happening in your school or district isn’t working—and hasn’t worked during the tenures of your last several school leaders—then maybe it’s time for serious change . . . major restructuring . . . bold reform.  If your Board has lost faith in traditionally prepared candidates, it may be time consider a different kind of leader.

Dr. Ira Krinsky, a search consultant based in Los Angeles, believes that a non-traditional candidate can succeed in one of the following scenarios:

  1. A stable school or district that has superb leadership in place but needs a change at the top.

  2. A school or district in serious financial difficulty but with strong administrators and a reform-oriented School Board.

  3. A new school or district.

  4. A bankrupt school or district.

  5. A school or district with a totally new Board because of some dramatic event.

In short, a non-traditional candidate with a history of strong leadership might just deliver the new perspective that a struggling school or district so desperately needs.


If your school or district is embarking on a search for its next Head of School or Superintendent, Academy Educational Consulting can help.   Dr. Blane Covert dedicated his doctoral research to Head of School/Superintendent turnover; now, he prepares School Boards for executive searches so that they can recruit and ultimately hire the right candidate.  To learn more about how to make your next Head of School/Superintendent search a success, contact Academy today at 501-230-0881.

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