DRAFT MEETING MINUTES
Special Workshop Meeting – Superintendent Search Workshop with NESDEC
December 5, 2011 @ 7PM
Oyster River High School, 55 Coe Drive, Durham ,NH 03824 in Room C-124
Henry Brackett, Krista Butts, Ken DeBenedictis, Jim Kach, Ann Lane, Leon Levesque, Jocelyn
O’Quinn, Megan Turnbul , Ann Wright
No audience present at start of meeting.
Meeting called to order by board chair Henry Brackett at 7:05PM
1. Reviewed Focus group report - Ken D. pointed out the report is lengthy, capturing al comments
he walked the board through the report citing highlights. 126 people participated in focus groups
• Four areas that stood out as traits for new superintendent:
1) Leadership skills - Strategic planner, ability to coalesce, skilled in process, able to hire best people and empower staff, not a micro-manager
2) Highly developed communication skills – Help people to practice buy-in, reach out and to incorporate to bring people together
3) Attractive personal qualities – Strong moral compass, life-long learner, someone who has grown through education, etc. Someone who wants to work in Oyster River, very open-minded and decisive (be strong enough to say no)
4) Experienced educator – Pre-K- 12, assess curricula
These four areas repeatedly came up. Things that came up were indicators of these types of skills.
• Jim Kach mentioned that budgetary strengths should be highlighted; want to see business
• Areas that superintendent should address in short term (first six to twelve months) :
1) Build community relationships - Restore civility and develop trusting relationships; need
2) Organize a strategic vision/plan for the district – Many areas are covered in this section.
Strategic organization of what comes next is vital.
3) Examine the budget development process and seek ways to successful y communicate
4) Assess curriculum and instruction – Key Performance Indicators, etc.
• Ann Lane mentioned that we want to tuition-in students; also want to have internal alignment
and alignment with core standards in the curricula
• Megan Turnbul asked about what criteria stood out; Ken stated that having strong community
relationships is very important to Oyster River
• Jim Kach asked why even have a school board; Ken D. stated that al constituent groups need to
come to a common ground and resolve differences in a courteous and diplomatic way- - not one group was singled out in the focus groups
• Jim Kach concerned about efforts to de-legitimize the school board • Ken D. mentioned that the report contains hundreds of indicators; he tried to show all
comments. People believe that Oyster River is a good place and want a leader to be here to help move to next level of greatness; folks were asked to soul search
• Ken D. stated that the report shows that this was very open; in districts that are oppressed one
would not have this level of participation and sharing. This shows this was an open and free conversation
• Lee L. commented about the communication theme; it’s not that we don’t communicate. We
have not communicated where we are going. We need to do a good job of stating where we are headed. This will prevent a knee jerk reaction when certain decisions are made.
• Jocelyn O. felt this was very encouraging; shows we want a strategic plan • Per Lee L. the focus group report is already on the ORCSD web site and Ken D. has 20 copies for
distribution that could be distributed throughout the district; Lee wil help link the report in Durham/Lee/Madbury town updates as wel as will link his superintendent report.
• Ken D. feels this report is a starting point, cleansing to start building
2. Issue of trust • Need chance to take the ton of data and do verification per Ken D.
• Could do questionnaire/surveys, interviews to key individuals, power broker in order to get
• Jocelyn suggested that we put this discussion item on a future, regular school board agenda • Henry is hearing that we need to process sooner or later • Ann W. said we cannot deliberate and vote at tonight’s meeting • Ann L. said we should do a survey • Lee L. said purpose in talking to Ken D. is to not let this fall through. See what Ken D. has done as
a starting point. Lee will ask Ken D. to do a proposal; time is of essence.
• Ann W. is concerned about having NESDEC shift gears and work simultaneously on another
project; worried that this may be cross-purposes: working for the board on one and working for the community on another (trust issue). Ken D. would not do this project on trust;
someone else in NESDEC would handle the trust issue. Ken. D. cited that there are often instances when do multiple projects.
• Ken D. asked whether or not board would like to have NESDEC put together a proposal. • Lee L. believes we have a foundation and need to set up a direction to deal with this issue. Want
to deal with NESDEC because have done all this background work.
3. Sample letter for the Screening Committee • Megan suggested communication committee help with letter. Communication did this
• Ann Wright made motion to have communications committee send the letters to constituent
groups on screening committee. Krista Butts seconded. Voted 7-0
4. Selecting Community members • Ann Wright referred to Megan’s suggestion to have applicants apply then allow each board
member submit a name, then have two names selected from a hat.
• Ann Lane suggested having each board member putting in two names • Jocelyn worried about representation; rather have the Board select community members and
• Megan believes community members should send in letters on why interested, ability to meet
time commitment, and any skills that they feel are relevant
• Ann Lane wants to adopt Megan’s suggestion • Ann Lane made a motion upon the receipt of letters of interest, board reviews list and discusses
qualifications, and addresses inadequacies in terms of representation on the committee; then, fol owing conversation, each board member selects a name, puts into a hat and either Lee or Cody select name; Krista Butts seconded motion. Jim suggested names are redacted. Vote 6 approved- 1 (Henry Brackett voted against)
• The selection of screening committee must be done by Jan. 3rd. So, need to select by Dec. 21st. • Megan concerned about timeframe to get this done quickly • Newspaper should be notified, etc. per Henry • Jocelyn set up meeting as soon as possible, Thursday Dec. 8 for the Communications
Committee; Megan will work on project plan prior to meeting to help expedite
(A second audience member arrived at 8:08PM)
• Lee said we can find a date and time for the first session; Ken D. said screening committee will
meet Tuesday, Jan.3 from 6:30-9PM and at that night wil select night for next meeting on Jan. 5 and the dates/times for the interviews. Lee to ask to get ORHS conference room for Jan. 3 meeting.
• Communications committee puts together press release about screening committee
Lee L. asked when Ken D. wil meet with the board again. NESDEC/Ken D. to meet with screening committee on Jan. 3 and 5. Ken D. wil meet with School Board next on Jan. 16, 2012. Problem is that Jan. 16 is MLK day. Changed the date; Ken D. will meet with School Board on Jan 19, 2012 instead. Screening committee will announce individuals moving forward, wil need to vote, and then do a workshop for when candidates come in the following week. Candidates will come most likely two at a time. The chair of the screening committee wil come and announce names at Jan. 19 meeting.
Megan asked when we wil choose SB representatives for screening committee; informed that this will be done on Dec. 21 School Board meeting.
At 8:16PM Krista Butts motioned to adjourn and Ann Lane seconded. 7-0 approved.
Meeting minutes prepared and submitted by Megan Turnbul .
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