Fulton schools survey: Superintendent should be CEO with academic experience

The Fulton County school board plans to begin interviewing superintendent candidates next month, and parents and employees say they want a CEO with a background in teaching and learning.

The school district is searching for a new leader after Jeff Rose resigned unexpectedly in November, nearly a year before his contract expired. Rose cited personal reasons for his departure, which came as the board discussed the renewal of his contract.

In a February update about the search, district leaders said they will review applications through the end of February and interview candidates in March. Officials hope to have made a decision about the position by the start of next school year.

The district released results of an online survey completed by more than 1,200 people about the traits they want in a superintendent. Survey respondents, which included 727 employees and 398 parents, said they most want a chief executive officer experienced at making decisions, managing operations, and communicating with the school board and employees.

Survey-takers also said it was a priority to hire a superintendent with academic experience in teaching and learning. Less important to survey respondents was experience in technology and business-side operations such as transportation, food services and purchasing.

Survey respondents ranked leadership and listening skills as the most important personal attributes for a new superintendent. Less important was the new leader’s ability to delegate, according to the survey.

Several respondents also said they want a leader with a long-term commitment to the district.