When asked if the system needed a leader with an entirely new vision, 45 percent of all respondents agreed, while 23 percent disagreed and 32 percent were somewhere in between. The response was even higher among those in the community (those who were not students, parents or employees). More than half — 66 percent — believe the schools need a leader with an entirely new vision. Twelve percent disagreed and 23 percent were neutral.
Inside or out?
Nearly all of the respondents — 95 percent — believe the new person should have administrative and management experience and about half — 49 percent — believe the super should have business experience. When asked if the superintendent should be hired from outside the Athens City School system, 29 percent agreed while 47 percent were neutral. When asked if the board should hire an insider, 16 percent agreed while 54 were neutral.
Most important issues
When asked the most significant issue or challenge facing the new superintendent, respondents listed among the top five:
• Maintaining or raising student achievement — 23.9 percent;
• Maintaining a culture of trust, accountability — 16.9 percent;
• Managing finances so as not to harm (the schools) — 10.8 percent;
• Other — 8.9 percent.
As for qualifications, the survey showed 83 percent of all respondents believe the new superintendent should have a master’s degree. Only 30 percent thought he or she should have a doctorate. When asked if the superintendent should have a non-educational background, nearly three-fourths — 72 percent — disagreed.
When asked if the new superintendent should have prior experience as a superintendent, nearly half of all respondents — 52 percent — were neutral, with 26 percent believing such experience should be a required and 22 percent believing it should not.