Residents invited to express views on superintendent search

By By Kara Carrier / American Press

An online survey asking for public input on qualifications for the new Calcasieu Parish school superintendent went live Tuesday.

The anonymous survey, open to all parish residents, will end at noon April 17.

The purpose, according to the survey

website, is to provide the School Board a broad range of community

opinions about what

attributes people want in a new superintendent. “Ideally we are

targeting our own constituents and our staff,” said Kirby

Smith, district spokeswoman. “We have over 5,000 employees, and

being the largest employer in the parish we can get a pretty

good gauge on how our employees feel through the survey. And then

we definitely want to reach out to the community.”

Smith said the district is working with

the chamber of commerce to assist in reaching industry and business

leaders because

they play a vital role in our education system. The district has

also partnered with V. Faye White and Dustin Hebert of McNeese

State University to compile the responses from the survey and look

for trends in them.

The four-question survey asks responders to name characteristics and traits they would like the new superintendent to have,

accomplishments they would like to see during his or her tenure, and goals and objectives for the district.

According to Smith, the board is looking forward to a large response from the public and is prepared to handle as many responses

as they are given.

“The more information we compile and

present to the board, and the more responses we get, will provide a much

clearer and

concise profile of the ideal candidate for our community,” Smith

said. “We want the community to feel like this is their superintendent

too. We have so many schools and such a large impact on the

population that we need to have the public’s input.”

The survey results will be presented and discussed at the next Superintendent Search Committee meeting, at 4:45 p.m. May 1

at the Central Office.