A community survey is available until 8 a.m. Jan. 22 for Columbia Public Schools stakeholders to provide input on the Board of Education’s search for a new superintendent.

The survey is available in English, Spanish and Arabic. It includes three parts:

A section to identify which group each respondent represents, whether a parent, teacher, community member, administrator or other type of stakeholder.

  • A list of 33 characteristics and leadership qualities for a future superintendent. Survey respondents are asked to pick their top 10.
  • An open question that allows respondents to offer details about the district and community that they think a prospective superintendent should know.

Detailed information and a full timeline of the superintendent search process is available on the district’s website.

Superintendent Peter Stiepleman announced in October that he will retire in June. Stiepleman has been superintendent since 2014 and was named the 2021 Missouri Superintendent of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Administrators at the end of September.

The Columbia School Board in December hired the national firm Ray & Associates to help with the superintendent search. Ray & Associates posted the job position that month. It said on the district website that the salary for the new superintendent will be in the range of $250,000.

After the survey closes in January, the results will go directly to the search firm, district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said. The survey is designed to give the firm guidance about which qualities the community values in a future superintendent.

The school district will not have direct access to the survey results, Baumstark said. The firm, which owns the survey, will compile the results and present them to the school board.

Ray & Associates will hold stakeholder focus groups once the survey is closed, according to the district’s website. Baumstark said these focus groups will allow the firm to gather specific input from various stakeholder audiences that are “invested in who our next superintendent will be.”

Applications are due to Ray & Associates by Feb. 7, and the School Board will interview candidates from then until March.

The board will identify finalists in March and hold public meetings with them before deciding whom to hire.

  • Education reporter, fall 2020. I am a first year graduate student studying magazine writing journalism. Reach me at hgallant@mail.missouri.edu or on Twitter @GallantHannah.

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