School board seeks public input on superintendent search

The Seattle School Board will hold a series of meetings on Jan. 16, 17 and 18 to gather public input to the superintendent search process. Specifically, community members will be asked to discuss the characteristics and qualities they want in Seattle Public Schools' next superintendent. These meetings will provide the board, and the consulting firm assisting in the search, with information they will use in recruiting candidates for the next leader for Seattle Public Schools.

A series of eight open community meetings are planned on Jan. 16-18. Meetings will also be held with representatives of community associations and organizations, with employees of Seattle Public Schools and with school leaders and the district's senior leadership team. Ray & Associates, the consulting firm hired to conduct a nationwide search to replace outgoing Seattle School District superintendent Raj Manhas, will facilitate the meetings.

At each meeting, Ray & Associates will provide an overview of the recruitment process and ask attendees for their opinion about the important qualities, skills and background for the next superintendent. In addition, each participant will be asked to identify what they consider to be the top 10 desired qualities for a superintendent, selected from a list of 32 characteristics developed by the consulting firm. The completed surveys will be compiled by Ray & Associates and given to the board.

The board will use the information to finalize a superintendent profile and recruitment materials for the position. Individuals and/or groups who cannot attend the meetings can also share their comments with school board members by emailing the board at or by calling the board office at 206-252-0040.

Written comments may also be mailed to the board office, MS 11-010, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165. For comments to be included in profile development, they must be received or postmarked by Thursday, Jan. 18.

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