Board of Education promises transparency in search for new superintendent

The Board of Education promises to be open and transparent regarding its search for a new superintendent.

The pledge comes after former board member Darrel Galera resigned to apply for the job.

Galera was appointed to the board last October by Gov. David Ige. He has also been serving as chair for the governor’s ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Team since its inception in April 2016.

In a statement, Patricia Bergin, a search committee member, released a statement that said:

“… the Board’s Search Committee wants to assure the public that the Board is going to continue conducting a search for candidates. The Board has not yet started collecting applications or evaluating candidates. While we are encouraged that a candidate like Mr. Galera, with his wealth of experience, would be interested in applying for the Superintendent position, we know that there are many qualified candidates out there, and we hope that they are encouraged to consider applying. Mr. Galera will have to go through the same screening process as all other applicants, and every applicant will be considered on an equal playing field.

This search process has been conducted with the intent of being sensitive to the desires of the public and needs of our students.  The search committee is committed to continuing to move forward with an open and transparent process.  Our keiki deserve no less.  We encourage all interested individuals to apply and have directed the search firm to actively recruit for this position.”

Darrel Galera

On Tuesday, the board adopted a job description and characteristics for the superintendent position, based on feedback from a recent survey. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, community members, businesses, and other stakeholders were asked what they were looking for in a new schools superintendent.

Among the top traits were someone who has the ability to become familiar with Hawaii’s people and culture, someone who encourages innovation, and someone who inspires teamwork and empowers others.

Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, says empowering teachers is an important step in improving the educational system.

“At schools, where we have seen principals that are willing to share power and bring in a collaborative basis for their school,” he said. “We have seen the best results (with) teachers that feel valued, and therefore it’s a team decision, and that’s how things improve.”

He adds that the next superintendent should also have some teaching background.

“I think in this process, you’re looking for someone who understands Hawaii and understands Hawaii’s process and the way we educate our children,” Rosenlee said. “I think anyone should put children first. I know that our teachers do that on a daily basis. I think some of the best philosophy is happy teachers make happy students.”

The advertisement for the superintendent position is scheduled to be posted on Friday, March 10. Click here for more information.

Kathryn Matayoshi will remain superintendent until her contract expires on June 30.

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