The search for a permanent superintendent for the El Paso Independent School district began Wednesday. The board will interview three search firms to find qualified candidates. A three-member board committee interviewed the finalists for a search-consulting-firm. The committee will give their recommendations to the board Thursday. The question is why is EPISD hiring a search firm? These firms can cost upwards of tens-of-thousands of dollars.
“We have no staff,” said Board President Isela Castanon-Williams. “The staff that is available is assigned to conduct the districts business.”
Castanon-Williams says board members have limited staff and searching for a superintendent is a process the board estimates will take about six months and will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-thousand-dollars. That's how much the Socorro Independent School District superintendent search cost.
By Thursday, EPISD will have its finalists and will reveal the names of those firms. At the next board meeting they'll pick the search firm they believe will honor the community's needs and choose quality candidates. Two weeks from now, that firm will begin gathering information from parents and teachers as to what traits they want their new super to have. Shortly after that, the firm will start reviewing candidates that fit the community profile.
EPISD estimates the entire process will be over by the end of February, with a 19-member committee helping the board choose the superintendent finalist and a new permanent super will be working by the first board meeting in March.
“It's a very intensive and long, drawn out process that requires a great deal of technical expertise and clerical assistance that the district does not have,” Castanon-Williams said.
The firm will be taking applications nationwide as well as looking at local contenders from within and outside of the district. Castanon-Williams said temporary interim superintendent Ken George and current interim superintendent Vern Butler may apply for the job, but they will have to compete equally against the others.