Search for Metro Director of Schools to start again

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several months after the search for a new Metro Director of Schools was placed on hold, the Metro Board of Education and Mayor Megan Barry are starting the search once more.

An aggressive, national search for top talent was announced Monday. The search was previously placed on hold in July after school board members cited the mayoral election as the key reason to postpone the process.

The first step will be taken by the Mayor’s Office and the Nashville Public Education Foundation. The two departments will co-chair a 12-week community task force charged with guiding the search and recruitment effort.

The 17-member force will work to collect data about comparable districts and innovation in the areas most critical to MNPS’ progress and improvement.

It will then make recommendations to the Board of Education as to an effective profile and process for aggressively recruiting a high-caliber director of schools to lead the district forward.

“We are committed as a Board to finding the best and brightest leader the country has to offer to lead our district forward by leaps and bounds,” said Dr. Sharon Gentry, the chairwoman of the Board of Education. “While the Board must ultimately make the hiring decision, for us to successfully hire the kind of leader we all want, we must put our collective best foot forward as a city and a community.”

Members of the search advisory committee will be:

  • David Briley, Vice Mayor
  • Sheila Calloway, Juvenile Court Judge
  • Bill Carpenter, Chairman and CEO, LifePoint Health
  • Rev. V. H. Sonnye Dixon, Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship
  • Marc Hill, Chief Policy Officer, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Shannon Hunt, President and CEO, Nashville Public Education Foundation
  • Erick Huth, President, Metropolitan Nashville Education Association
  • Kristin McGraner, Founder and Executive Director, STEM Prep
  • Janet Miller, CEO, Colliers International
  • Rich Riebeling, Chief Operating Officer, Mayor Barry’s Office
  • Mark Rowan, President, Griffin Technology
  • Renata Soto, Executive Director, Conexión Américas
  • Stephanie Spears, President, MNPS Parent Advisory Council
  • Rev. Ed Thompson, Nashville Organized for Action and Hope
  • Robbin Wall, Principal, McGavock High School
  • Ludye N. Wallace, President, NAACP Nashville
  • David Williams, Vice Chancellor, Vanderbilt University

The group is being asked to focus on three core areas:

1. What does Nashville need? What are Nashville’s biggest challenges? How do we stack up against other cities/districts? What does this point to in terms of the profile of an effective director of schools?

2. Who might fit that profile? Are there “bright spots” around the country in terms of districts or systems achieving significant gains or innovations in these areas? Are there others outside districts who bear further discussion?

3. Are we competitive enough to attract high-caliber candidates? How does our compensation package compare to like-minded or -sized districts? Are there other things we can do to make the position more attractive?

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