Who is running the search for the next superintendent of the Omaha Public Schools?
Is it the publicly elected 12-member Omaha school board? Or a five-member ad hoc subcommittee made up of board members?
Kersten Borer, a school board member who was not chosen to be on the subcommittee, said she thought the board had given the subcommittee permission only to create a “request for proposals” to go out to possible consultants that would help the board with its search.
But on Monday, the subcommittee asked the board for help in forming a plan to get the community more involved in the search.
The subcommittee asked for two things by Friday:
» The names of any individuals or entities that board members think should be included in interviews or focus groups. The board members, with the groups, would develop a leadership profile describing what the citizens want in OPS's next superintendent.
» Times when board members would be available to meet with such focus groups before Nov. 7, the day the board plans to pick a consultant.
“It just seems to be moving on without us having a discussion about that,” Borer said of the subcommittee.
Borer said it seems to her that the subcommittee is directing the board, not the other way around.
Subcommittee members said they are trying to present ideas, not direct the board.
“We are trying to make it clear to them what we are doing,” said Nancy Huston, a subcommittee member.
The subcommittee is made up of either board President Sandra Jensen or Vice President Shirley Tyree and five other board members.
“We are trying to get a very wide array of community opinion,” said Mary Morrissey, another subcommittee member.
Morrissey said it's “obvious” there are some negative opinions about OPS and about the school board in the community. Reaching out to various groups should help the board build relationships, she said.
The board is moving to replace outgoing Superintendent John Mackiel, who said last month he will retire in August 2012.
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