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Superintendent Search Survey Results

Earlier this year, the Board began the process of finding Onslow County Schools’ next superintendent. The community and OCS employees were asked to submit surveys on the qualities they would like to see in the new leader. Since the Nov. 27 survey deadline, the North Carolina School Boards Association has analyzed and summarized the feedback they received. The survey results were presented to the Board in the Dec. 4 meeting by Allison Schafer of the NCSBA.   

Ms. Schafer told the Board that they had received a total number of 876 completed surveys, 406 community and 470 staff, which is more than normally expected. She said the feedback from the community was very similar to that from the staff, as most qualities in each group’s top 10 they would like to see were the same. Each group’s top quality they would like to see in a superintendent is that they “understand how to effectively advocate for resources need to operate the schools.” Though the order varied between the two groups, the following traits also ranked in the top 10 desired by staff and the community: 

  • “Has strong human relations or ‘people skills’” 
  • “Understands how to provide safe environments for students and staff” 
  • “Knows how to get staff, students, parents and community to work together to help children learn” 
  • “Communicates well with people of all races and socioeconomic status” 
  • “Should be accessible and respond to concerns in a timely fashion” 
  • “Communicates well with all community groups” 
  • “Understands school finance, budgets and business management” 

The two qualities that appeared on the community survey’s top 10 that were not in the top 10 of staff were “should have high visibility in our schools” and “understands research-based school programs.” The staff top 10 included the following traits that the community’s did not: “has been an effective classroom teacher” and “has been a successful principal.” 

Ms. Schafer said that based on the survey results, communication, money and safety were the most important issues to both staff and the community. Board members echoed those sentiments and said they will seek a candidate who is a “communication expert” and has a “servant’s heart.” They said they would also like to find someone who is good at delegating and has some knowledge of project-based construction.