Email from Kevin Walston

From Kevin Walston to the Special Education Community:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dear SOMSD Community,

We are writing to update you on the search for the new Director of Special Services & Youth Development.

The initial announcement for the Director position was posted in October and drew extensive interest from qualified candidates across the region. Dr. Nunery of Atlantic Research Partners screened the candidate pool for our interview committee (parents, teachers, child study team members and administrators) and we interviewed three worthy candidates on Monday, December 12th. Unfortunately, the interviews did not yield in a recommendation for further consideration. As a result, the search has been reopened. If all goes as planned, Dr. Nunery will screen a new group of candidates and arrive at 3-5 finalists for our consideration in February. Successful candidates will then be recommended to round two and BOE consideration by March 2017. In the meantime, an Interim Director has been identified and will be recommended to the BOE for consideration during our search.

Progress Report
The district is excited, energized, and unified in our quest for the next great leader to lead our district special education and youth service programs to even higher levels of success and excellence. We are more confident than ever that we will find an exceptional Director of Special Services & Youth Development for our district. The process is “moving along”, and we are excited about the candidate pool and hope our next round of interviews yield a recommendation.

Results of Search
Given these high expectations, I’m pleased to report that our nationwide search for a new director, which began last October, resulted in a diverse pool of candidates. In fact, as evidenced by the detailed resumes, applications, and supporting documentation, the stellar reputation of the South Orange & Maplewood School District has attracted a talented pool of proven leaders in education. For this reason, we are confident that we will find a new Director of Special Services & Youth Development.

Next Steps and Timeline
So, you might be wondering, what’s next? In an effort to keep you apprised of our process, below is a timeline of activities.

· Applicants are screened for initial interviews.
· Extensive and thorough background check of candidates will be completed.
· A limited number of finalists are forwarded for level one consideration.
· Interview committee is contacted and interviews are scheduled for mid-February.

· Level One interviews are conducted and successful candidates advance to Level Two.
· Level Two interviews are conducted and a finalist advances for BOE consideration.

· The Board of Education meets with finalist.
· The Board of Education extends contract to final selection.
· The district announces the New Director of Special Services & Youth Development.

On behalf of the South Orange & Maplewood School District, I want to thank you for your interest and input into the search for a new Director of Special Services and Youth Development. Your input is directly informing and shaping the search. We greatly appreciate all your comments, emails, survey responses, and conversations all across our school community.

Kevin L. Walston

Assistant Superintendent for Administration

School District of South Orange/Maplewood

525 Academy Street * Maplewood, NJ 07040


P.973-762-5600 x 1825

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