Interest high in top job at Cy-Fair ISD
Consultants helping the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees recruit a new leader for the state's third-largest school district anticipate around 30 applicants when the deadline arrives April 21 .
"We expect to get quite a number in this last week. There's a lot of interest," said David Thompson with School Executive Consulting Inc., the firm aiding trustees with their superintendent search.
"There's no question, the Cy-Fair district, the community sells itself. It is a very attractive opportunity, and people know there is a real history of success and accomplishment there," he said.
The search process began in February, soon after Superintendent David Anthony announced he will depart by June to become chief executive officer of Raise Your Hand Texas, an education advocacy group.
In recent focus-group meetings with school and community leaders, Thompson and his partner, former Texas Education Commissioner Mike Moses, were told the district needs an experienced visionary who will embrace "the Cy-Fair way," a reference to the pride and tradition embodied in district schools.
While mindful of financial challenges and the impact of rapid growth on the community's demographics, residents said they want to protect the sense of family provided by local schools.
In addition, about 200 people have sent emails defining characteristics they think the new superintendent should possess. Many of those are complimentary of Anthony's record since he joined the district in 2004 and of the administrative staff, Thompson said.
The consultants expected to release general information about the pool of applicants on Friday, April 22, but no names. Their next meeting with trustees to review the applications is April 29 and will be closed to the public. Interviews are set for early May, and a finalist could be named as early as May 23.
"We are getting a diverse group of applicants, people in different points of their career, but people who very definitely fit the profile identified by the community, with a track record of experience," Thompson said.
State budget cuts being contemplated in Austin are a common issue for districts across the state, not just Cy-Fair, he said.
"The challenges that Cy-Fair is facing - growth, being the state's third-largest district, irrespective of what's going on with the state budget - are going to be there at any time.
"We're looking for candidates who aspire to that, who want to do that with their career, who want to go where you can really make a difference," Thompson said.
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