Branford Education Board Chair Shares Superintendent Search Update
By Staff Report
In a letter to the Branford community published on the Town of Branford website November 23, 2022, Board of Education (BOE) chairman Peter Berdon outlined the board’s efforts underway in the search for the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. The full text of the letter reads as follows:
Dear Branford Community:
The Branford Board of Education is undertaking one of its most essential tasks: identifying and selecting a successor to our current Superintendent. Following the August announcement by Superintendent Hernandez of his retirement at the end of the School Year, the BOE began its work in earnest – to find a leader for the District who will continue to advance the District in providing the best educational opportunities for all students.
Our first step was to constitute the entire Board as the Search Committee to identify and select the Superintendent. To date, the BOE has engaged in a thorough process to locate a consultant to assist the BOE. After interviewing several qualified companies, the BOE has settled on retaining Robert Ferguson of McPherson & Jacobson. Bob is a local Branford resident, and the BOE feels he is a good fit to ensure that the BOE's final selection reflects our community priorities and the values of our school district. Additionally, the BOE and Mr. Ferguson have met to develop the calendar of milestones for this process and to bring together basic information concerning our District to enable us to post the position.
During the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter recess, the Board, through Mr. Ferguson, will conduct an online survey to help the BOE understand your priorities. The link to the survey will be accessible on the District's website, the Branford Public School's social media platforms, Infinite Campus, and the Town's website. (Instagram: branfordpublicschools, Twitter: @BranfordPS, Facebook: Branford Public Schools). The BOE is interviewing various stakeholders for their input as well. We aim to obtain important input from you to incorporate these ideas as we move through the selection process.
We expect to close the posting the week after the new year and then move into the evaluation phase of the process. First, the BOE will vet the candidates for Superintendent for qualification after reflecting on the communities' desires and needs. Next, the BOE will assemble a short list of approximately 8-12 of the best-qualified candidates whom the BOE will interview. We anticipate that there will be two rounds of interviews before the finalist is selected. Presently the Board is planning to conduct these interviews during the last weeks of February and plans to announce the successor to Superintendent Hernandez by March 15, 2023.
Given the sensitive nature of the hiring process and the possibility of considering currently employed superintendents and high-level administrators, it is important to understand that we cannot disclose specifics of the candidates we are considering.
The BOE values input from the community. You are welcome to attend one of the committee meetings or the full board meeting and to comment during the public comment item as published on the agenda, call into a meeting and make a comment virtually or email the BOE. The BOE posts the meeting dates and times on the Town (branford-ct.gov) and District (branfordschools.org) websites. You can attend in person or virtually. The District posts agendas for the meetings two days before the meeting day.
We are excited to conduct this vital search with you.
On behalf of the Branford Board of Education,
Peter A. Berdon, Chair