Parents and guardians of CMSD students gathered Tuesday evening for the first of three community meetings with Alma Advisory Group, a search firm the school board hired to find a replacement for CEO Eric Gordon.
About 50 people sat at cafeteria tables on the second floor of the school district’s East Professional Center. Others attended the meeting via Zoom.
The goal of the community meetings is to hear what Clevelanders want in their school system, said Monica Santana Rosen, the president of the search firm. “At Alma we always say, the people with the most at stake in any decision shouldn’t just get to have input, they should have a seat at the table and should help drive the process.”
These meetings are part of the first phase of the CEO selection process–stakeholder input, which Rosen said is happening before the job description is even created. The search firm met with the district’s Student Advisory Committee before Tuesday’s meeting and will speak with teachers this week. They’ve also opened an online survey for anyone to weigh in on the most important issues facing the district.
Rosen said the school board will leverage the information shared by the community to create the job profile for the next CEO.
A slideshow included the timeline for the CEO selection process. After this week’s community meetings, the firm will present its takeaways to the school board. It plans to post the CEO position and open it for applications in early February. Primary interviews will take place throughout February and March, and by April the board will have a list of finalists.
The board hopes to announce the new CEO by early May. The final decision will be made by the board and Mayor Justin Bibb.
Rosen said her firm is still working with the board to determine what the final interview process will look like.
“Our hope is that finalists in this process will have the opportunity to meet with members of the community so that the community can provide their input before the board makes their final decision,” she said.
The firm provided six guiding questions for participants to discuss in breakout sessions, which focused on top areas of improvement for CMSD and specific skills or experiences participants want a candidate to have. The sessions were closed to media and board members, but, following these discussions, parents told Signal Cleveland that school safety and security and higher-ed preparedness are concerns they’d like to see a new CEO address.
Alma Advisory Group, based in Chicago, also assisted in search processes for the Cincinnati and Denver public school districts.
Still want to participate in one of these sessions? There is one more opportunity this week.
Thursday, Jan. 19, 6 to 8 p.m. – John F. Kennedy High School, 15111 Miles Ave.
Accommodations such as meals, child care and sign language translators will be provided.
Can’t make it to the meeting?
You have until Jan. 31 to complete the online survey.
Have more to say?
The district has also set up an email, email@example.com, where anyone can share comments, questions, or suggestions related to the CEO search and selection process.
Keep up with the CEO search at the CMSD webpage.