By Brittany L. Moser
For the island of Maui, little is known of what’s to come in having a new state superintendent for Hawaii public schools.
“We are at the Board of Education’s mercy” said Lindsay Ball, superintendent for the Hana-Lahainaluna-Lanai-Molokai complex area in an interview with Ho’oulu on Tuesday night as the BOE was meeting in Honolulu to decide on a “job description and characteristics” for the new state superintendent.
“We have a weird system, it dependents on what the new (state) superintendent wants.”
Ball noted Darrel Galera resigned from the BOE earlier this month, hoping to become the new superintendent.
Galera was appointed to the BOE by Gov. David Ige less than six months ago, and was a part of the board when the decision was made to not renew current superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi’s contract when it expires in June.
Since April 2016, Galera has also served as the chairperson for the governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act Team. KHON2 reported that he seeks to keep that position.
Ball said he hopes that the new superintendent will always look to “put the student first when making decisions.”
He noted educators throughout the state can’t make a lot of long-range plans at the moment. The BOE has announced it expects to hire a new superintendent in May, with the appointment effective on July 1.
“All we can do is wait and see,” Ball said. “We do not have directions yet, because we don’t have a new boss yet.”
Ball didn’t attend Tuesday night’s meeting and spent the day working in Hana.
During the meeting, the BOE approved a seven-page document composed by a consulting firm to establish the superintendent’s job description and characteristics, as, with one amendment. As requested by testifier Cheri Nakamura and moved by the BOE member Grant Chun of Maui, the amendment specified that the new superintendent should have experience and expertise in promoting “educational equity.”
The approved document, prepared by Iowa-based firm Ray and Associates after a lengthy survey process, includes the following requirements for “Education”:
“Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in education, business, or public administration, or a closely related field. Alternatives to these education qualifications may be allowed as the Board may find appropriate and acceptable.”
There are two sentences under the heading “Experience”:
“Minimum of 5 years in progressively increasing leadership roles in public or business administration working with multi-year strategic planning and budgeting. At least five years shall have been in an executive capacity leading a diverse senior team in a large multigeographic organization, and at least three shall have been in an educational environment.”
Applications for state superintendent will be accepted until April 6.
The BOE, the nation’s only statewide school board, hasn’t met on Maui since Aug. 8, 2016.