The board of directors that oversees International High School is bringing in outside help to assist in the search for a new school leader to replace Anthony Amato.
At a meeting of the Voices for International Business and Education on Wednesday, search committee head Andrew Ward announced that the committee had retained Boston-based education consultants Carney, Sandoe and Associates to complete the search for a new head of school. Senior search consultant Barry Rowland will head up the search efforts for International High School.
The search committee was formed in July, following a split vote of the board that decided to sign current head of school Amato to a one-year contract. A former New Orleans schools superintendent, Amato was chosen by the board in 2010.
In a recent interview with The Lens, board president Robert Couhig said the board began negotiations with Amato toward the end of the 2012-13 school year, as the head of school’s contract was about to expire.
“Eventually it became clear to both sides that a change was probably for the best,” Couhig said.
The board plans to have a new head of school in place by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
The search committee posted the position in at least 15 outlets, and drew 47 applicants. The committee began to vet the applications, but decided that the job was too big to be handled in-house.
Rowland was chosen after presentations from several applicants at a search committee meeting prior to Wednesday night’s board meeting, Ward said. Since the search committee was delegated the responsibility for running the process to identify the head of school, the full board did not need to vote on the selection, Ward said.
The applications will now be handed over to Rowland to continue the vetting process, Ward said.
The board initially budgeted $10,000 for the search, but upped that number to $30,000 when the decision was made to hire a consultant.
After Ward finished announcing the latest search committee news, he resigned his board seat. The former VIBE board president said he is moving to Colorado. The reins of the search committee were handed over to board member Ed Graf, who also currently serves as the board’s academic committee chair.
At Wednesday’s meeting, board members also continued an ongoing conversation about the history of the school’s building.
The RSD school’s lease on the Orleans Parish School Board-owned building expires in June, 2015, and officials are already exploring long-term options. The facilities committee is currently looking into the potential of each of four scenarios for the future. They include: staying in the current building, leasing space in another building, building a new school or buying a school that requires renovation.
Board members said an initial evaluation by officials indicated that the current building’s size is ideal for the size of school they would like to have. However, officials have yet to seek information from the Orleans Parish School Board about whether the building will be available to them after the lease expires.
Meanwhile, the facilities committee is identifying several properties that may be comparable to what the school is looking for if they were to move so they can determine potential costs, amount of necessary work and other issues.
“There’s no guarantee that we’re going to find that property,” facilities committee chairman Laval Hughes* said, referring to a piece of land or building that would be an ideal fit for the school. “But we have to work on it.”
*Correction: Earlier this story incorrectly identified the facilities committee chairman as Laval Edwards. (Nov. 25, 2013)