As you know Billings School District 2 is currently conducting a nationwide search for a new superintendent. A couple of things...

1. First, it's hard for me to believe that with all of our administrators and personnel in Billings, we don't have anyone qualified for the job. It would be great to have someone local. Even statewide we should have someone qualified and familiar with our problems and our culture.

2. No matter who is hired the number one priority should be student performance and safety. Hands down, any other priorities should disqualify them immediately. With less than 30% of our graduates now not able to achieve an ACT score high enough to get into a state college, something has to change.

3. They must be able to motivate and inspire, lead by example and build morale and confidence for all their employees.

4. The leader has to prove that they are responsible with taxpayer money, can work with budgets, and not build animosity in the community they serve. Like recent events, where $5.1 million of COVID-19 money was paid in bonuses to administrators. Or graduation opportunities being denied to kids with a handicap or disability.

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5. Openness to the community is vital and being able to take direction from the school board who are the ones setting policy -- also a must. When picking the new leader the more input from parents, students, teachers, and taxpayers the better.

Does anyone ever question the search committees involved and try to find out what they are looking for? National firms have different directions and visions for education. That may be something that people here can't stomach.

See ya tomorrow at 5 a.m.

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