Consultants are on a three-day mission this week in the Millard Public Schools, gathering public opinion to build a profile of what residents want in their next superintendent.
Employees of the Proact Search firm of Chicago held focus group sessions with two parent groups, business leaders and representatives of the Millard Public Schools Foundation, said Dale Robbins, lead education consultant.
More sessions are planned with boosters, principals, teachers and administrators, Robbins said.
The first of three public forums drew more district officials than parents Tuesday night to Millard South High School.
Robbins shrugged off the low turnout, saying it may reflect the public's trust in school board members to select the right person for the job.
Often it takes a controversy to draw out parents, he said.
Sharon Call, the mother of six children ages 1 to 17, took the opportunity to weigh in at the Millard South meeting.
Call said that the large school district provides great opportunities and that there are some “amazing” teachers.
But she would like to see better programs for high-ability learners and a more challenging middle school music program. She said the district's new superintendent should be more open to parents' concerns.
The superintendent should be visible, have integrity and embrace tradition, but also be willing to make changes when warranted, Call said.
The Millard school board hired Proact to search for a replacement for Superintendent Keith Lutz, who will retire in June. The timeline calls for hiring the new superintendent by April 1.
Robbins said the information gathered this week will be used to develop the profile to guide the search and will be reported to the board.
Parents still have several ways to express their thoughts about the district's strengths and weaknesses and the characteristics they would like in the next superintendent.
Two more forums are scheduled — tonight at Millard West High School and Thursday at Millard North High School. Both are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The public can also participate in an online survey on the district's website, Robbins said.