Search begins for new superintendent

Cole Schnell
Contributing Writer

Graphic by Cole Schnell
Graphic by Cole Schnell

Superintendent Sarah Riss announced her retirement on April 13. The search for a new superintendent started in early November.

Riss will leave the district at the end on 15-16 school year after her fifth year as Superintendent. The new superintendent will take the position on July 1.

The district is taking applications through Jan. 4.

The board has a set of qualifications for the applicants. They are “seeking a highly qualified superintendent of schools,” according to “An Invitation to Apply for the Position of Superintendent.

Cathy Vespereny said, “[The board members] are not narrowing [qualifications], to broaden the pool of candidates. It is left open for interpretation.”

Some qualifications include a understanding of the values and cultures of WGSD, bring open to all input and feedback and “celebrates diversity and treats other with respect” according to “An Invitation to Apply for the Position of Superintendent.”

The board is looking for a candidate who will commit for a long term like Dr. Riss, board member Steven Loher said.

The board of education and a hired consulting team, McPherson and Jacobson LLC will work through this process. The consultants are Dr. Chris Christman and Dr. Judy Sclair-Stein, who were hired them for a $20,000 contract.

Dr. Riss will help the search by show around candidates and answer any question from candidates. Dr. Riss gave advice to the new superintendent; “take the time to get to know the people and organization.”

The consultants advertise the position, accept and read and the applications, then forward the applications. They also will give recommendations and input.

The board will select the finalists on Jan. 19. Then interview them on Jan. 25-28. Then select the new superintendent in February.

Also the invitation said, “The Webster Groves School District will offer a competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience.” Loher said, “When we say competitive [salary], that if a person was offered other jobs we would offer a salary competitive to their other offers”

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