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My story on the superintendent search got too long for its britches Friday, so I had to cut these comments about what different people are seeking from the next superintendent of San Diego City Schools. Check it out:

Trustee Mitz Lee: “Someone who will address the achievement gap, who is not at the end of their retirement, and who has a lot of energy to solve the complex problems in public education. Someone who will stay, and who knows the challenge. And since the person is almost going to marry five people (the board), I would expect the person to study the trustees beforehand.”

Trustee Shelia Jackson: “I’m still hearing, ‘Is there any way you can convince Dr. Cohn not to leave?’ The question is to find someone who has some of his qualities, but someone they feel communicates better with them, gives the principals more direction. … The next person’s role isn’t so much the unification of the district (as Cohn’s was) as to move the district forward in closing the achievement gap.”

Trustee Katherine Nakamura: “I don’t know yet … I really do want to listen.”

Jeannie Steeg, executive director, administrators association: “Carl brought harmony, and now we’re looking for a superintendent who will take a more hands-on approach with his or her management team, and who will hold accountable the leadership team that exists in this district under the new superintendent.”

Area 5 Superintendent Delfino Aleman: “If we get someone that will continue the course that Carl Cohn has set before us, that would be absolutely great. … I’d really like to see someone inclusive, who collaborates, who has an open-door policy, who can continue in cultivating this environment that we have currently that we can talk to each other.”

School board candidate Scott Barnett: “No. 1, the person should have a history of improving academic performance. … No. 2, this person should have a history of increasing financial resources to the classroom — not to the district, not to the administration, but to the classroom. And No. 3, this person should have some knowledge of large bond measures … and have the skills and expertise to sell it.”

School board candidate John Lee Evans (via e-mail): “The new superintendent needs to be a good manager who recognizes the Board’s role in setting general policy without micromanaging.  He or she needs to understand the complexities and diversity of a large urban district.  He or she also needs to be a good motivator who will truly inspire teachers, staff, parents and community to work together.”


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