The Warren Board of Education wants to achieve academic excellence. But it decided against conducting an excellent search for a new school superintendent.
The board last week named Warren G. Harding High School principal Michael Notar as the district's next superintendent. The board did not accept any applications or conduct any interviews prior to deciding who would be in charge of the district.
Board members said there was no need because of how familiar they are with Notar, especially since he applied for the superintendent's position last year when they chose to hire Bruce Thomas. Notar, however, didn't even make the board's list of finalists. Yet, Warren made no effort to see if any of those finalists, whom they already determined would make better superintendents than Notar, are still available. Nor did they cast a wide net to see who else is out there.
There is also concern that board members conducted secret and potentially illegal discussions about this hire. Following Tuesday's public meeting, Board President Regina Patterson, when asked how the district was going to find its next boss, said they hadn't even talked about it yet.
On Wednesday, Warren announced that the board would meet Friday morning to vote on hiring Notar. That means late Tuesday or early Wednesday, outside of a public meeting setting, the board members discussed that position and reached a decision. The public never had an opportunity to learn how its elected officials reached this vital decision.
We wish Notar well and sincerely hope he's the answer to reversing the district's pitiful academic and disciplinary performances. Unfortunately, on top of that, he'll have to overcome cynicism because the school board took the idea of involving the community in a nationwide search and threw it out the window.
Given the board's track record for hiring superintendents, a knee-jerk decision is scary.