Firm hired to find new CK superintendent

The Central Kitsap School District has entered into contract negotiations with an eastern Washington firm to conduct its superintendent search.

The five member board voted unanimously to hire Northwest Leadership Associates at a board study session held Monday Jan. 5 at Central Kitsap High School. The district is expected to pay the firm a base fee of $16,700 plus travel and brochure printing expenses which brings the total to about $23,000.

The board is expected to finalize the contract for about at a special meeting 5:30 p.m. Monday Jan. 12 at the Jenne Wright administration building.

The board opted for the firm’s more aggressive style over PNR Associates, which was interviewed Dec. 22. While PNR’s initial fee was lower, other costs were not as clearly defined and the firm would have relied more on district staff. Board members were also not clear on who exactly would lead the search for PNR Associates.

“We would get a great search with either firm,” said board member Carl Johnson.

Dennis Ray, president for Northwest Leadership Associates, presented a timeline and strategies for the search.

Ray, who will lead CK’s national search, plans to concentrate on recruiting candidates in the Northwest.

“It’s a fairly easy transition for candidates if they’re coming from the Northwest,” Ray told board members. Ray and his two team members have connections to the ESD arena and Washington State University’s superintendent certification program.

“Between those networks we believe that's the key to screening candidates and recruiting candidates for you,” Ray said.

The Central Kitsap community will also have its chance to guide the search.

Community forums begin Tuesday to determine what the community is looking for in a new superintendent. Cathy Davidson, superintendent for CK schools, is retiring in June.

People also can participate in an Internet survey on the district’s Web site ( starting Monday which asks what are the strengths of the district, what are the key challenges, what professional qualifications do people want in a candidate and what type of personal character would they want in their next superintendent.

Northwest Leadership Associates has conducted more than 50 superintendent searches in its five-year history.

According to a proposed schedule Ray submitted to the board, brochures advertising the position will be mailed out in early February. By the end of February the board prepares for interviews and receives a mid-search report. The bulk of the school board’s work is in late March early April when candidates are interviewed and visit the CK School District. A contract would be offered in April with a possible July 1 start day for the new superintendent.

The search schedule is expected to be finalized at Monday’s meeting.

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