Next superintendent search begins as Crawford announces he won’t return to Summit School District
Summit School District Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford informed the school board that he will only be staying with the district through the end of his one-year contract, officially kicking off the search for the district’s next superintendent.
Crawford explained some of the results from his leadership performance survey to the board at the meeting Thursday, Dec. 9. The survey received 44 responses from school board members, district employees who report to Crawford and community members who work closely with him. He said he will be putting together a summary of this feedback to share with the public because, while Colorado law says personnel evaluation information is confidential, Crawford wants to be transparent with the community.
He said about a dozen of the responses asked him to stay for another year or more as superintendent. Yet, as a husband, father, grandfather and soon-to-be great-grandfather, Crawford said he wants to be able to spend time with his family after the year he committed to Summit School District.
“That’s a personal decision on my part,” Crawford said. “I really enjoy working with the school board. I really enjoy working with our school leadership. It’s been a pleasure for me. My decision is about where I am in my life.”
Crawford reiterated that working with everyone at the district has been a joyful experience for him, and he is still invested in the work the district is doing.
“Interim doesn’t mean placeholder,” Crawford said. “Interim to me is all in, and we’ve got six months of hard work to go yet.”
Board President Kate Hudnut recommended the board moves forward with a full search for Crawford’s replacement, noting that his interim position gives the district the time it needs to do so.
“This is the hiring season for this profession, so I think we’re in a very good position to be starting now as opposed to in a month from now,” Hudnut said.
The board will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 13, over Zoom with the school’s representative from McPherson & Jacobson, the firm tasked with leading the search for the next superintendent. The meeting will go over the timeline and logistics of looking for the next superintendent.
The district is not paying any additional fees to McPherson & Jacobson this year, as they are still under contract from the 2020 superintendent search. Hudnut said the district will still have to pay for expenses, such as advertising and travel expenses for candidates, but not directly for the firm’s service.
Hudnut said the firm will screen all of the applicants and organize the district’s interviews with potential candidates. She said they will also do interview groups like they did with their last full, non-interim superintendent search in 2020.
Crawford will be somewhat involved in finding his replacement, though only as is professionally appropriate. He said he will do what he can to help as the board and search firm are comfortable.
Crawford said he hopes that whoever replaces him is able to appreciate Summit County and the work already being done within the school district. He said he also hopes the next superintendent is able to take advantage of the capacity of the current district leadership and further cultivate it.
“I really think what we need is a person who can accept the county for what it is, embrace it and work to make it better,” Crawford said.
Hudnut said the search firm put together a draft of qualifications for the next superintendent based on the strategic plan for Monday’s special meeting, and that the district isn’t looking to take a sharp turn from the direction it’s heading. She said she is pleased with the work Crawford and district staff have done so far this year, and she is excited to see it continue.
“He’s put in his time as a public educator and deserves to go back to his retirement,” Hudnut said of Crawford. “We’re in just such a good place going into this work.”
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