Page One

Press Release: Berkeley School Board Launches National Search for Next Superintendent

From Leah Wilson, BUSD School Board President

Wednesday February 13, 2013 - 09:02:00 AM

The Berkeley School Board is beginning its search for the next Superintendent of Schools. With the guidance of professionals from Ray & Associates, a highly experienced school executive search firm, the School Board is launching a nationwide search for candidates who have successfully improved academic outcomes for all student groups, and who exhibit a commitment to furthering the work of the 2020 Vision[1] and educating the whole child.  


Ray & Associates will be using the Leadership Profile developed with substantial community input in 2012. As reflected in the profile criteria, the professionals from Ray & Associates will be searching for an instructional leader and strong communicator who is committed to the beliefs and values of the Berkeley public school community. 


“The search team of Ray & Associates have an excellent track record in placing superintendents who are a great fit for their school districts, with all of their placements in California staying with their districts for long tenures,” according to School Board Director Judy Appel. 


With the advice of the team from Ray & Associates and in recognition of the competitive nature of educational executive searches, the School Board has laid out an well-considered timeline and carefully outlined steps to ensure a hiring process that brings the most highly qualified pool of candidates to interview in Berkeley. The official posting of the position took place Friday, February 8, and the search will close on March 15, with the first round of Board interviews with semi-finalists will take place the week of March 25, and the expectation that the selection process will be completed in April. 


The community will be engaged in discussions of interview questions and criteria for best-fit candidates through a survey, community forums, and several key stakeholder focus groups; this will assist the School Board and the executive search team in identifying top candidates for the District. 


Director Karen Hemphill indicated her confidence in the quality of the applicants Berkeley will attract stating, “When potential candidates get to know the strength of our teachers and commitment of our staff, and get to know the priorities of this community, we will have some very strong candidates come forward.” 


It is the intent of the members of the Board to lead a transparent process, offering widely distributed updates along with the opportunities for additional community input. The Superintendent Search webpage will be updated regularly and members of the community are encouraged to subscribe to the district’s biweekly email newsletter, the A+ News. The community survey will go online on February 15 in both English and Spanish, and remain open until March 3. Community forums are being scheduled for February 28, March 1 and 2, with interpretation in Spanish at all meetings. 


Community Forums 

  • Thursday February 28th at Malcolm X School - 1731 Prince Street, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Friday March 1st at King Middle School - 1781 Rose Street, 7-8:30 p.m. (In Spanish)
  • Saturday March 2nd BUSD Administration Building, 2020 Bonar Street Room 126, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
In the meantime, interim Co-Superintendents Javetta Cleveland and Neil Smith continue to move our schools forward in support of District Goals, including increasing the academic achievement of all students, implementing strategies to engage students in their learning and interventions to eliminate barriers to student success, establishing partnerships with our families and community, ensuring that systems are culturally and linguistically responsive, and generating and equitably allocating resources for programs and services that enable every student to succeed. 


[1] 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth is an innovative community-wide initiative to ensure that all children living in Berkeley receive a healthy start, are equally ready to learn, and are provided the opportunities and support necess