School Board Taking Next Steps in Superintendent Search

The Des Moines School Board is beginning the next phase of the selection of a new Superintendent as it reviews the credentials of consultants to assist in the search process.

“Selecting the leader of a school district is the most important job of a school board, and we are at the point where the rubber is beginning to meet the road in selecting our district’s new permanent superintendent,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, chair of the Des Moines School Board. “From gathering public input to conducting a thorough search, we are fortunate to have the time to do a process that will result in a great new leader for our district.”

Des Moines Public Schools is Iowa’s largest provider of public education with nearly 32,000 students. Thomas Ahart is serving as the district’s interim superintendent. The school board plans to have a permanent superintendent named and in place by the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Last month, the school board issued a Request for Proposals seeking “specializing in assisting with employment searches for administrators of large educational organizations” and asking them to submit a plan that describes “the services to be provided and the manner in which the consultant intends to identify and recruit qualified applicants and assist in the screening of candidates as per the criteria to be developed by the School Board.” The board will now begin to review proposals submitted by the following firms: BWP & Associates (Libertyville, IL), McPherson & Jacobson LLC (Omaha, NE), Proact Search (Wilmette, IL), and Ray & Associates (Cedar Rapids, IA).

The school board will review the proposals and interview search firms this month, with a selection made at their October 2 School Board meeting and the firm’s work to commence on November 1.  

In addition, information about the search process is being made available online at From meetings to presentations to surveys, in the weeks and months ahead this web page will post all public information relating to the search process.