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With a Little Help from My Friends

May 20, 2019


In this article, Dr. Blane Covert encourages Boards to seek help when searching for a Head of School or Superintendent.

As an Educational Consultant, it should come as no surprise that I believe that schools and districts should absolutely seek help when embarking on an executive leadership search.  Educational Consultants and Executive Recruiters actually lower search costs by increasing the possibility of a successful match between the two parties and by often shortening the search period.  Decreasing the length of the searches allows Board Members to resume their full load of work activities more quickly.  According to Anderson, “Consultants may be costly but can earn the fee by judiciously matching candidates to district needs.”  

Cox noted that an outside consultant might actually be in a better position than the institution itself to evaluate which skills a school needs in its next leader.  In addition, Zakariya found that search firms aggressively recruit potential candidates.  Moreover, McCarthy believed that an effective consultant could assist in decreasing Head of School/Superintendent turnover. 

Hamori noted that search firms guarantee a certain standard of candidate quality because they have a reputation to maintain in the educational community.  Although executive recruiters perform similar services during the search process, the variations in both experience and effectiveness among consultants can result in disparate candidate pools.  Conway and Miles argued that “Hiring a search firm that has the capabilities of looking beyond the usual candidate pool is imperative in the highly competitive race for leadership.” 

Blane Covert, Ed.D., an award-winning educator with 19 years of experience at three highly regarded independent schools, dedicated his doctoral research to the subject of Head of School/Superintendent turnover.  The data revealed that most Boards of Trustees have little or no experience evaluating candidates for leadership positions.  However, Dr. Covert realized that this experience gap could be bridged by helping Board Members gain the skills and perspective needed to better manage the search and selection process.

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 Academy Educational Consulting here or here.

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