Superintendent Search Committee Hires New Firm to Help Find Next School Chief

Credit WABE 90.1 FM

The group charged with trying to identify and attract the best candidates for the Atlanta Public School’s next superintendent is turning to a new search firm.

Current APS Superintendent Erroll Davis’ contract ends next year.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports APS officials hope the hiring of a new search firm will give the district a “best in class” pool of candidates to choose from.

It seems as if everyone has their own thoughts on the next APS school chief.

In November of last year, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in order to attract the best, the superintendent’s salary needed to be increased.

“We’re going to double the salary of the superintendent if we get the right candidate. The superintendent we need is not the one we’re going to find through our search. We need a best in class superintendent that is not thinking about coming to the city of Atlanta,” said Reed.  

Superintendent Erroll Davis’s salary is under $300,000.

But before salary discussions can begin for Davis’ replacement, the APS board must first have a crop of final candidates.

Ann Cramer chairs the APS Superintendent Search committee.

She says there were three main reasons to change to a new search firm.

One of those reasons says Cramer, “looking for a firm that had a high degree of access and an innovative approach to finding extraordinary candidates.”

And that firm says Cramer is the Atlanta-based Boardwalk Consulting.

“We really loved having somebody who knew Atlanta, who had a commitment to Atlanta and we would say had a fit and cared deeply about the success of what was going on in Atlanta in this critical search.”

According to the company’s website, Boardwalk Consulting focuses on three areas, executive search, board enrichment and strategic planning.

Time Warner, The Salvation Army and the Morehouse School of Medicine are among the clients listed as using their services.

As for a timeframe when the district could expect to see top applicants, Ann Cramer says it’s important to wait until the November school board elections are over.

“We will not begin to bring any kind of serious candidates to the table until after the election November with the intent that the new school board installed in January will make that selection hopefully in February or early March.”

Right now there are 22 candidates vying for the nine member APS board.