The Clark County School Board selected a search firm Thursday to look for the next superintendent, the first major step in the process to replace outgoing leader Pat Skorkowsky.
Iowa-based Ray and Associates, which touted itself as the most experienced education executive search firm in the nation, was the second-cheapest option among the four firms that responded to a request for proposals. The firm’s bid was $43,250, excluding any additional costs required for advertising and candidate travel.
Price was no small consideration for trustees as the district deals with a deficit of over $60 million.
The firm’s founder, Gary Ray, said the company aggressively recruits candidates, meaning even those not looking for jobs. Ray also said his firm has placed more female and minority candidates than any other firm in the nation.
“This is your search, it’s not ours,” he told the board. “In 40-something years I’ve never hired a superintendent — that’s not our job. Our job is to go out to get the brightest folks and recruit them.”
Trustees liked the price tag and the experience of the group, which was founded in 1975 and has placed leaders in school districts in as Oklahoma City, Seattle and Milwaukee, among others. The firm was previously a finalist in the 2010 superintendent search that led to the selection of Dwight Jones.
The vote was 6-0, with Trustee Carolyn Edwards absent.
The other firms that applied were Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates — which assisted in the 2000 search of Carlos Garcia — JG Consulting, and McPherson and Jacobson, which also assisted in the 2010 search.
“I don’t want any shills,” Trustee Chris Garvey told the firm just before the vote. “I want people that actually want to do something for our district because it’s very important.”
The firm will work with the School Board and community to develop criteria for the district’s next leader. After recruiting candidates nationwide, it will bring a certain number of finalists to be interviewed before the board.