Ray and Associates to assist in superintendent search

The Board of Education selected the executive search business Ray and Associates, Inc. to assist them in their search for a new superintendent at their meeting on Thursday, Feb. 11 following Chief Academic Officer Jill Abraham’s decision to not take the position.

The choice of search firm was made following presentations from the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, K-12 Business Consulting, and Ray and Associates.

Ray and Associates’ presentation was led by the firm’s President Michael Collins, who spent two terms on the Westerville Board of Education and two terms as an elected member of the Ohio Board of Education.

Ray and Associates presented the Board with a four-stage process for their superintendent search, the first stage being the collection of Board input. In this stage, the firm will utilize focus groups and surveys to identify the qualities that constituents and Board members desire in a superintendent and begin reaching out to members of the community to arrange input meetings.

The second stage of Ray and Associates’ process will help develop the profile of the type of person Bexley is seeking to fill the superintendent position as input meetings with constituents begin. 

Stage three marks the beginning of the screening process for candidates, and stage four is when candidate interviews begin.

A statement from the Board about their decision was included in an email sent by Principal Kristin Robbins on Sunday, Feb. 14, detailing that the Board was impressed with the firm’s dedication to community input, diversity, equity and inclusion, and efficiency, as well as their history and experience.

The decision to utilize a search firm in Bexley’s superintendent search came after Abraham withdrew her candidacy on Feb. 4 after the Board announced its intention to hire her at their Feb. 2 Board meeting. Concern was expressed by some Bexley residents about a lack of transparency in the selection process, such as Bexley resident Ilana Spector.

“This is an engaged community, and our most valuable asset is arguably our school district,” Spector said during public comment at the Feb. 2 Board meeting. “Our Board of Education ran on slogans like ‘transparency’ and ‘your voice,’ and you made a decision that will have a long term effect on this community behind closed doors.”

Board president Marlee Snowdon responded to the concerns from the community at the Feb. 4 meeting, acknowledging that although the Board’s intent was in the right place, she understood the frustration with a lack of community input in the process.