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An important decision
Butch Hanson, a retired superintendent who is acting as a consultant to the New Prague Area School Board, told board members at last week’s meeting that the hiring of a superintendent is the most important thing they’ll do as a board.
School superintendent is not an easy job. A person in that position is often forced to make unpopular decisions, brings bad news to board members and staff, and has to manage a multi-million dollar enterprise. He or she has to be politically savvy, needs to communicate well, be willing to listen to all sides, be bold enough to propose cutting programs, whether due to a lack of interest or lack of funds. Superintendents get a healthy salary (New Prague’s new superintendent will likely command a salary in the $140,000 range, before benefits). They also deal with a healthy share of criticism. It’s no surprise that the average tenure for a superintendent is between 2.75 and 6 years, according to one study.
In the coming weeks, the New Prague Area Schools will take a close look at exactly what qualities they want in the next superintendent. As the district has seen over the last few years, finding the right person is essential to the direction, the financial future, the public reputation and the morale of staff and students in the district.
The district is seeking your help. Consider attending the work session on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The district needs to hear from all sides and needs to know what the public expects in the district’s next leader.