Phenix City residents can take survey to help select superintendent

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comApril 22, 2014 

Phenix City residents will have the chance to help select the school system's next superintendent by taking an online survey.

A link to the survey will be on the Phenix City Board of Education's website,, starting late Wednesday and remaining there through May 1, according to a handout school board members received Tuesday night during their work session. Flyers notifying parents and guardians about the survey will be sent home with students Thursday or Friday, the handout says.

Bonnie Burns, the school system's administrator in charge of strategic planning, noted that public input in the superintendent search was one of the required actions AdvancEd ordered in last month's accreditation exit report. Residents who don't have access to the Internet can take the survey on paper at the school system's central office, 1212 Ninth Ave., Burns said.

After the meeting, board attorney Sydney Smith said the application period has ended, but she declined to disclose the number of applicants or describe any details about the candidates. She did say, however, "We're comfortable with the response."

Board members individually are coming to Smith's office to read the applications, she said.

"Probably in the next 10 days, they will have a session to come together and decide who they feel should be the finalists and who they want to interview," Smith said. No set number of finalists has been determined, she said.

The interviews will be conducted after May 12, according to the handout. State law mandates superintendent interviews to be open to the public.

The surveys will be taken anonymously, Burns said after the meeting, but only one survey can be submitted per computer. According to the survey copy Burns handed out, the questions are:

1. Which of the following categories best describes you as a respondent? Please select one. (Ten options are listed.)

2. Which of the following activities should be the priorities of the next superintendent? Please select three. (Ten options are listed.)

3. Of the three choices you selected above, select the number of the one that is the most important to you.

4. From the list below, please select the qualifications that you believe are most desirable in the superintendent of schools. Please select five. (Fourteen options are listed.)

5. Of the five choices you selected above, select the number of the one that you consider to be the most important.

6. What would be the best method for the new superintendent to use to communicate with parents, community and staff? (Eight options are listed.)

7. What question/questions do you suggest that the board ask when interviewing each candidate for the superintendent's position? (Space is given for a written response.)

8. Are there any other ideas or suggestions you would like to share about the superintendent search that have not been addressed by this survey? (Space is given for a written response.)

The results will be compiled by SurveyMonkey, an online service company, Burns said, and a report will be delivered to the board.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272. Follow Mark on Twitter@MarkRiceLE.

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