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Results from the survey asking for public input in the search for a new shared superintendent for the Mount Ayr and Bedford school districts have been released.
The survey is part of the search for a new shared superintendent to fill the vacancy when current superintendent Joe Drake announced his intention to retire at the conclusion of the current school year.
The survey had 341 responses, with 55 percent coming from Mount Ayr patrons and 43.5 percent coming from Bedford.
The plurality of those responding self-identified as parents (54.1 percent), community members (21.1 percent), students (13.6 percent) and teachers (10.4 percent).
The survey asked respondents to identify to the strengths and challenges their respective districts.
The Mount Ayr respondents cited quality facilities, dedicated teachers and leaders, sports (participation, success and support), supportive community, financial condition of the district, hardworking students and staff, and special education program as strengths of the district.
Challenges facing the Mount Ayr district included balancing sports and academics, retaining and recruiting good teachers, consistent behavior expectations for students, addressing bullying, and maintaining enrollment.
Not surprisingly, the Bedford respondents cited similar strengths and challenges for their district.
Strengths included academics/Student achievement, community support, quality facilities, committed teachers and leaders, school pride/spirit and sports and school activities.
Bedford challenges included addressing bullying, parent drop off and pick up at elementary, maintaining enrollment, communication to parents, and student challenges (special education and mental health).
Respondents in both districts were asked to list the most desirable professional and personal attributes of a new superintendent.
Professional attributes receiving the most response were effectively manages district resources (43%). recruits, hires and develops a strong administrative team (41%), builds school and community relations (34%), strong instructional leader (32%), and promotes a community of care and support (30%).
Personal attributes receiving the most response were approachable, accessible and welcoming (67%), follows through on tasks and responsibilities (38%), demonstrates ethics and integrity (33%), and possesses strong communication skills (31%).
The search process now enters the application phase which runs through December 31.
On January 8 representatives from both schools will review the applications.
The boards will screen a number of potential candidates by January 22.
Formal interviews with the finalists will begin February 6.
Full survey results may be found at mtayrschools.org under the “Board of Education” link.