HYA for Boards: Superintendent Search

A Superintendent Search Process Designed to Match the Right Leader With Your District

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Recruiting, developing, and retaining great leaders is essential to improving your district’s student outcomes. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), takes a collaborative, research-based, approach to the superintendent search process. We match the right leader with the goals and priorities of your school system and community.

Superintendent Positions Posted

2022-2023 (through 4/14/23)

Superintendent Search Process

At HYA, we know that your district is unique and we understand that a comprehensive superintendent search process does not meet the needs of all districts. We will work with your district to build the search that best fits your needs and vacant position. HYA’s process is built around four phases. Components of each phase are modularized and can be combined in a way that best fits the needs of your district.

1. Engage

Engage stakeholders and develop a leadership profile and selection criteria that matches the priorities of the community.

The Engage phase consists of designing and planning a process of engaging the Board and stakeholders through interviews, online surveys (available in world languages), and focus groups.  Information from these interactions assists in developing a leadership profile and selection criteria that match the priorities of the community and that meet the unique needs of the local district. This disciplined, inclusive and research-based approach ensures all stakeholders have the opportunity to be a part of the search process and provides valuable feedback about the school district based on HYA’s local research and professional understanding of the district’s standing in the broader marketplace. The HYA Signature search includes all Engage phase services, however, a district can choose services a la carte.

2. Recruit

Leverage HYA’s extensive network of nation-wide consultants to identify and recruit qualified leaders.

The Recruit phase consists of leveraging HYA’s extensive national network of Associates across multiple offices and incorporating advertising strategies that results in the identification and recruitment of exceptionally talented leaders.  HYA can also recruit non-traditional candidates, i.e. executives that have worked in business, military, private or public sector. HYA works in close partnership with state and national organizations with numerous Associates serving on those Boards. The HYA Signature search includes all Recruit phase services, however, a district can choose services a la carte.

3. Select

Select among a slate of highly qualified candidates aligned to priorities of the Board/community.

The Select phase consists of providing the Board with a slate of candidates that were interviewed by HYA Associates using the Leadership Profile or job description established by the District. HYA Associates are committed to spending the necessary time and energy on the details to find the right candidates. The search team then facilitates the Board/District interviews and appointment process including reviewing candidates’ references.  HYA’s ability to gain important background information regarding candidates – beyond what appears on an individual’s resume – is a unique and distinguishing characteristic of HYA, and is attributable to the integrity of the firm, Associates, and the vast networks of professional relationships built through decades in the education field. A workshop on interviewing and construction of interview questions is facilitated by the Associates. Executive due diligence including formal background and media checks complete the Select phase. The HYA Signature search includes all Select phase services, however, a district can choose services a la carte.

4. Transition

Appoint and communicate the hiring of the new superintendent, and provide transition services.

Appointing a new leader is the first step toward accomplishing organizational and student goals for success. HYA deploys Certified Executive Coaches designed to meet the unique needs of individual leaders and teams. HYA facilitates goal setting and an evaluation process for superintendents and chief executives; coordinates and provides a process for the development of strategic plans; and assists in the recruitment of key members of the leadership team, namely assistant superintendents and principals.  HYA also provides training for board members on their role in governing the organization.

Transition Dashboard

Performance of a newly hired superintendent during the first 3-6 months is critical to future success. This transition period is an opportunity for the superintendent to build relationships with the Board, school personnel and community, analyze student achievement and financial status, understand community expectations and values, and arrive at a set of performance indicators to measure district success.

Ensure your new hire’s future success with a Transition Dashboard. Contact HYA to learn more.

A Transition Dashboard with HYA gives new superintendents a centralized location to map out the activities/tactics to be prioritized, maintain focus despite diversions, provide benchmarks to measure progress, and communicate accountability to the board and community.

“Hands-down HYA was the best! I was completely satisfied with our work and interactions with HYA from start to finish. None of our Board had been through a Superintendent search process before and HYA was there for us every step of the way. I was the main contact with them and they made themselves available via text, telephone calls and email. They were thorough, professional, and accommodating.”

Lisa Torres
Charlottesville City Schools

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We recommend a search process that includes four phases.  A typical time frame is 4 months.

  • Engage:  Extensive community engagement through in person and virtual focus groups, interviews, and surveys to understand the community’s desires for their next leader.
  • Recruit:  outreach and advertising through HYA’s networks to ensure the widest and most diverse candidate pool.
  • Select:  creation of a slate of candidates for the Board’s review that best matches the leadership profile and desired characteristics developed during the engage phase
  • Transition:  work with the selected leader and board president to review information gained throughout the search process and offer services for transition support, governance and long-range planning.

The Board interviews a slate of candidates vetted by HYA.  It is rare that a candidate will be interviewed by the Board that was not slated by HYA. The Board’s decision to hire or not hire a particular candidate is at the sole discretion of the Board; and the Board takes responsibility for that decision. HYA’s satisfaction guarantees apply to HYA slated candidates.

HYA always works to provide a slate of candidates that is representative of the student demographics in a school district. We do so by proactively reaching out to minority candidates. HYA is represented by 130+ Associates from various demographic communities in the United States; all actively recruit for our clients. HYA is proud of the diversity of candidates hired with its assistance, including individuals – both male and female – of varied racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation and religious backgrounds.  

HYA does not believe that “if you post it, they will come;” rather we aggressively recruit candidates of color from across the nation.  In fact one of our distinguishing differences from other search firms is that we use our vast network of associates to recruit candidates. In addition, our consultants believe we must make every effort to develop untapped potential and thus several of us mentor individuals who have enormous potential but have not yet had the opportunity or access to acquire the depth of knowledge and skills needed to succeed in executive positions. With access to our expert mentors, these future leaders thrive, and we have a record of placing several in key positions. As your search consultant, we are committed to using our equity lens in recruiting, identifying, screening, and slating candidates for your team.  

Many HYA associates serve on state and national boards for minority educational organizations such as the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) and the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) and their state affiliates at the local level. These associates are aware of current and up-and-coming educational leaders who might be appropriate candidates for the districts we serve.  

HYA has a long standing partnership with ALAS (Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents); HYA has placed their last 3 Executive Directors and networks and presents at their conferences as part of our partnership to advance leaders of color into top education leadership positions.

Finally, HYA’s Associates are currently working with school districts across the country to advance their equity initiatives through strategic planning, audits and professional development. This work also informs the firm and advances our policies and practices.