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Q & A

January 15, 2019

In this article, Educational Consultant Dr. Blane Covert answers some of the most common questions that Boards of Trustees ask about Head of School/Superintendent searches.

Now that the holidays are behind us, many Boards of Trustees are getting back to the difficult, time-consuming, and expensive work of finding and hiring a suitable Head of School or Superintendent for their school or district.  In today’s blog, I have decided to answer some of the most frequent questions I’m asked by School Board Members before a search begins.

1.  How long does a search take?
I recommend 4-6 months; while that might seem like a long time, there are some schools and districts that take a year to complete a search.  Because this is such an important decision for your school’s or district’s future, you need enough time to do a thorough job.

2.  We’ve decided to hire a search firm.  How do we select the right one?
I think you’ve made a wise choice—search firms have access to many qualified candidates and will serve as an objective sounding board throughout the process.  As for selecting the right firm, ask about previous executive searches.  What is the average tenure for the firm’s placements?  Contact the Boards of Trustees for whom the firm has worked.  Finally, choose a firm based on qualifications, experience, and scope of work rather than on who offers you the lowest bid.

3.  What should the Board of Trustees be doing before the search firm visits the school or district?
This is where Academy Educational Consulting comes in—we teach Board Members the skills and perspective they need to fully engage in the search process.  Before launching a search, schools and districts need to know who they really are, the issues that they're facing, and the direction in which they're heading.  When Boards enter the search process well-prepared, search firms are able to do a better job.  When this happens, Boards choose better candidates.  It's a win-win.


Academy Educational Consulting solves the Head of School/Superintendent turnover problem with high-impact online courses that empower Independent School Boards of Trustees and Public School Boards of Education to take control of the leadership succession process.  To learn more about how to make your next Head of School/Superintendent search a success, visit www.academyeducationalconsulting.com or https://academy-educational-consulting.mykajabi.com/.

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