Survey released on what qualities Madison community wants in next superintendent

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- A consulting firm hired by the Madison School District has released its study on hiring the district’s next superintendent.

After six years leading the school district, Jennifer Cheatham resigned as superintendent last May. Jane Belmore is serving as interim superintendent until the district hires a successor.

On Monday, the Madison School Board met with the consulting firm B.W.P., which organized a survey of school officials and community members to get their input on hiring a new superintendent.

B.W.P. released the survey to NBC15 on Tuesday. The firm interviewed almost 1,700 students, teachers, staff, families and others in the community from Oct. 21 and Nov. 11.

The district hopes to use the survey to find a suitable successor as superintendent.

According to the survey, respondents were asked to pick the top three answers to seven questions. [The survey is attached at the top-right corner of this article]

According to the survey:

What the district’s top three strengths?

• Excellent teachers and staff (55.9%), location of the district- proximity to a world-class university (43.3%) and a supportive community (43.3%).

What are the top three most important issues or concerns facing the district over the next five years?

• Personnel issues- hiring and retaining high quality staff (49.9%), academic growth of students (49.4 %), and staffing- increasing the diversity of the workforce (40.1%).

What are the three most important leadership skills you would like a superintendent to have?

• Collaborative leadership skills (55.1%), communication skills (50.6%) and cultural competency (49.6%).

What are the three most important personal characteristics you would like a superintendent to exhibit?

• Integrity (51.1%), commitment to the community (49.9%) and good judgement (48.7%).

Which items are extremely important in the new superintendent?

• Experience with culturally responsive practices in a diverse multi-cultural environment (48.5%), experience as a classroom teacher (44.5%) and experience in strategic planning (31.9%).

Which apply to the respondent:

• I live in the Madison Metropolitan School District attendance area (85.6%), my children attend schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District (34.8%) and I am a student in a school in the Madison Metropolitan School District (27.3%).

If you are employed by the Madison Metropolitan School District, please specify your position:

• Teacher (48.0%), Other (26.3%), Other certified staff (12.0%) and Support staff- includes secretary, instructional assistant, custodian, food service, maintenance (8.9%)