Tulsa Public Schools Outlines Search For New Superintendent

Tuesday, May 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsans are helping in the search for a new school superintendent. Last week, the search firm hired to find a superintendent listened to people in a number of focus groups. With that information in hand, Monday night the school board got a better idea of exactly what they are looking for. School board members listened intently and scribbled notes as search firm members told them the kind of candidate the community wanted. Sharon Gallagher gave her opinion at one of the focus groups, she says good education helps the local economy. Gallagher said "for all of us. It really impacts the quality of life in this community." Search firm members told the school board Gallagher's and others concern. Many folks asked the firm for a leader who can bring the low performing schools to the same level of the district's good schools. Gallagher added, "it's hard to understand why there should be such wide discrepencies in quality. Our goal is to provide every child with an equal life chance." Former Dallas superintendent Dr. Nolan Estes is in charge of the search. He says besides improving the high challenge schools, the candidate must show that he or she can lead a district with a large and diverse population. "Unless you find someone, among other things, has that skill test, then it is going to be hard pressed to meet the goals of the school board." This week the district will send out 2,500 brochures from the search firm's recommendations on what type of superintendent its looking for. They will be sent to colleges, universities, college magazines and education websites. The search firm will hold two more focus groups on Tuesday, May 23rd. One will be at McLain High and the other at Nathan Hale High. The search firm also recommended a salary of $130,000 to $160,000 with benefits. Dr. John Thompson, who is now working in Pittsburgh, Pa. made $131,000 including benefits.