School board chooses search firm

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Municipal Schools board of education unanimously chose School Executive Consulting Inc. Thursday to help in the search for a new superintendent.

The firms’ services will cost $20,000 plus expenses.

Board President Mark Lansford said money to pay the firm would come from the district’s general operational budget.

The board heard presentations from two other firms; McPherson and Jacobson and Patterson Consulting.

Longtime Clovis educator G.C. Ross, who the board hired to assist with the first process of hiring a new superintendent but is now assisting for free, said he felt School Executive Consulting Inc. had a regional and practical approach to finding the district a new superintendent.

“I think this is something you shouldn’t look at the cost, you should look at who can get the job done and in a timely manner,” Ross told the board.

Secretary Max Best said the firm is the best choice because “it gives our district the best chances of finding the right person.”

Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm announced her resignation in January, effective June 30.

The board decided to hire G.C. Ross to facilitate the superintendent search after Seidenwurm’s announcement.

The board approved a timeline to choose the next superintendent by March 30, but announced on March 29 that it would extend the search and enlist the help of an executive head-hunting firm.

Mike Moses, chief of the firm, is a retired superintendent and commissioner of education. School Executive Consulting Inc. primarily works in Texas.

In his presentation, Moses said the firm will recruit people for the position and take control of the process until it’s time for the board to interview finalists.

“We want to protect the board and the board’s objectivity until the interview process,” he said.

Moses said his firm will be sensitive to Cannon Air Force Base.

Moses’ suggested timeline puts the board hiring a new superintendent by Aug. 1, but said the timeline can change easily.

“We’re looking for someone to come and make a difference,” Moses said.