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Survey respondents share what they're looking for in a new Colton School District chief

With the recent resignation of Colton School District's superintendent, Koreen Barreras-Brown, the Colton School Board is holding many additional special board meetings to address the process of filling the open position.

Steve Kelley, the Oregon School Boards Association's director of board development and executive searches, has been hired to lead the district's search for both an interim superintendent and a permanent superintendent.

At a special board meeting held April 13, Kelley said part of their search process is to engage the community and seek input. OSBA provided an online survey for staff members, families and the community to have an opportunity to give their feedback. The survey included the following three questions:

• What are the strengths of the Colton School District?

• What are the challenges of the Colton School District?

• What are the qualities and qualifications you want to see in the district superintendent?

Then at the virtual special school board meeting held Monday, April 26, Kelley announced that 186 community members had filled in and submitted the surveys to OSBA, and the top eight responses to the questions were the same in 75% to 80% of the submitted surveys. The top 10 community responses collected from the submitted data were:

• High degree of integrity/honesty with strong core values

• Effective communication and listening skills

• Puts kids first; is committed to serving all kids K-12

• Willingness to understand and honor the strengths/good work of the Colton School District and community

• Must commit to successfully facilitating the district goals, including any related past experience

• Background in teaching and building administration (instructional leadership), preferably in small rural areas similar to the Colton community

• Is personable/approachable while keeping an open mind

• Ability to build and sustain strong, effective family/community partnerships that impact student success

• Works well with others; strong collaborator that empowers students, staff, parents and community members

• Understands Oregon school finance, demonstrates sound fiscal management and strong budgeting skills

Kelley said these answers will be used during interviews for both the interim and new superintendent and that candidates would like to know what the strengths and challenges of the school district are before applying for the position.

The CSD Board of Directors will select up to 15 individuals, staff and non-staff members to assist in the interim superintendent application screening and interview process. An application to be part of the screening committee will be available on both the Colton School District's website at https://www.colton.k12.or.us/ and the district's Facebook page until 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6.

The next occasion for community input will be a virtual community engagement workshop at 7 p.m. May 11. This will be the time for open discussion and community input on what is needed and expected of the board and school district.

The event will be hosted by OSBA's Board Development Specialist Janet Avila-Medina. A link to join the meeting will be posted on both the district website and Facebook page.

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