BSD selects superintendent search agency

Throughout the discussion leading up to the selection of an outside search agency to help the Bremerton School District hire a new superintendent, board members expressed a strong desire to limit the cost associated with the search. However, when the board finally chose its search agency, cost didn’t appear to be a major factor.

By a 4-1 vote, the board selected Northwest Leadership Associates over McPherson & Jacobson. However, Northwest quoted the board a price of $15,500 plus expenses over McPherson & Jacobsen’s $11,500 plus expenses. Only board member Louis Mitchell voted against hiring Northwest Leadership Associates.

Northwest is led by Dr. Dennis Ray, who directed Washington State University’s Superintendent Certification program from 1996 to 2007, which is the largest superintendent preparation program in the nation.

Ray’s team includes five other education professionals who conducted superintendent searches across the state.

McPherson & Jacobson works in 20 states ranging from Alaska to Georgia and across the Midwest and Washington D.C. The firm has six representatives in Washington state and offered the district a list of optional services, which would have added to its baseline of $11,500.

When asked to explain the board’s decision to go with Northwest Leadership even though its price tag was $4,000 more than McPherson & Jacobson, board president Cynthia Galloway referred the question to district personnel director Denise Zaske and community relations director Patty Glaser, stating, “Could you contact Denise Zaske or Patty Glaser for the answers to your questions? I have been ill the past two days.”

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