Our current Assistant Superintendent, Winfried Feneberg, will be moving on to start a Windham School Administrative Unit (SAU) at the end of this academic year. This forthcoming vacancy in our SAU is an opportunity to think hard about the need for an assistant superintendent.
Mr. Feneberg was often referred to as the “Acting Superintendent” for the Hampstead School District. Does this strike you as a little odd? One SAU, two functioning superintendents? I don’t know the history in Hampstead that led to this administrative attention, but now is the ideal time to revisit that history to see if the SAU as a whole can’t function more efficiently.
This is not an attempt to short change Hampstead. It is simply a suggestion to try getting the SAU to function as it was originally intended – with one superintendent overseeing two school districts.
The SAU board will be meeting on March 27th to discuss hiring a new Assistant Superintendent. Before they decide on the type of search they would like to conduct, they should pause to examine whether the position even needs to be filled. Given the impressive energy of our new Superintendent, it seems prudent to let the SAU run with just one Indian chief for a while. What’s the rush to hire a $100,000+ employee? Should Hampstead prove to need a dedicated high level administrator, the SAU has the budget to hire one. If, however, our current superintendent is able to administer both districts ably, that will be a savings to the taxpayers and a justification for awarding raises within a leaner SAU.
The board may debate the elaborateness of the search methods to replace the assistant superintendent – a national search with a professional search agency or a smaller local search. There may be a skirmish between those who already have a local candidate in mind vs. those who would like to review as many candidates as possible, but the more fundamental question should certainly be asked.