On February 4, 2021, the Westfield Board of Education held a special meeting to appoint a consulting firm to conduct the search for a new superintendent, following the January 19 announcement by Dr. Margaret Dolan that she will retire effective July 1, 2021. After meeting in private session for an hour and a half to review proposals, the Board returned to public session, awarding the contract, not to exceed $15,000, to the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA).
The Board met in private session with NJSBA Search Consultant Gwen Thornton on February 16 to discuss a timeline and priorities for the national search to replace Dolan.
Surveys for the Community and for District Staff have been developed to gain input as to the educational characteristics, leadership style, and values that are important for the position. Survey links are posted at www.westfieldnjk12.org under “Superintendent Search” on the Board tab. The NJSBA asks that all survey responses be completed by March 13, 2021.
“Input from all of our stakeholders is so important to the process,” says Board of Education President Amy Root, adding that virtual public meetings will be held in March as well. “Survey responses are anonymous and NJSBA will use them to develop and shape interview questions and candidate review documents.”
Root says, while the job posting for a new superintendent will be distributed nationally, it is “highly likely that most applicants will be from New Jersey,” due to specific state certification requirements. She states that the process will remain confidential throughout the interview process in April to protect the privacy of the candidates.
The Board hopes to be able to appoint a new superintendent by the end of April or early May.