Position Details
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District: Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Closing Date: Monday, May 6, 2013

The Position

The governing board of the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District invites applications for the position of Superintendent from qualified and dedicated professional educators. The ideal candidate will be someone who leads with integrity and has excellent communication and interpersonal skills. This visionary leader will build strong stakeholder relationships and coalitions for the benefit of children. The successful candidate must be able to understand and embrace the culture and history of this diverse and expanding community. The person selected for this position will be someone who is goal oriented and who can build an atmosphere of trust and respect with the governing board, the staff (and their representative associations), students, parents and the community.

The Community

The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, located in the greater Bakersfield area (100 miles north of Los Angeles), has its origins in the year 1875. More recently, Panama and Buena Vista School Districts joined together in the mid 1980s, resulting in the present school district configuration. Agriculture is at the heart of this expansive valley, and it is one of the largest farming regions in the country. With the discovery of oil, the area has become one of the fastest growing communities in the United States. Many of those who relocated to the region did so for the clear weather and proximity to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Yosemite Valley and related recreational areas.

The District

The Governing Board embodies a long history of stable leadership helping to guide the District through a period of rapid growth. Once quite small, it now employs 801 teachers, 1038 classified staff, and 43 administrative personnel, all of whom serve more than 17,000 students in eighteen elementary schools, five junior high schools and an opportunity school. The District operates before and after school programs, a preschool program, one State Preschool and is proud of the large variety of community collaboration projects. The General Fund operating budget for 2012-2013 is approximately $160,000,000.

The Board and District are proud that since 2000, District schools have been recognized eighteen times as California Distinguished Schools. In addition to an AVID Demonstration School, Panama-Buena Vista Union School District is home to a Blue Ribbon School. The District is also recognized for its outstanding and comprehensive music and arts program.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria represent standards which will be used in the evaluation of applications and in the selection of the superintendent.

Professional Experience and Preparation

  • Classroom teaching experience required, K-8 preferred
  • Administrative experience at site and district levels required
  • California Administrative Services Credential required
  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree required

Personal Characteristics

  • A courageous leader who is able to see the big picture, make difficult decisions based on what is best for students and maintain those convictions when confronted with pressure - Kids Come First
  • An energetic and motivational individual who is able to craft a vision with staff & community that will guide the district into the future and create an atmosphere of excellence for staff and students
  • A high energy person whose is committed to the District motto – “Excellence in Education”
  • Honest and ethical, a person of integrity who is able to lead with humility
  • A strong communicator who is approachable, accessible, possesses exceptional empathetic listening skills and can communicate with all stakeholders; a “people person”
  • Demonstrates openness and inclusiveness with all groups; treats all people fairly, with dignity and respect
  • Actively demonstrates that the interests of children are foremost in his/her decision-making
  • Will study, quickly learn and embrace the community and district, including its history, culture and needs, before making significant changes
  • A positive leader who remains calm in the face of challenges
  • Places high value on the importance of teaching and learning
  • Possesses a healthy sense of humor

Professional Skills and Abilities

  • A strong, visionary leader in all aspects of school district operations
  • Has a successful record of building and maintaining positive and collaborative relationships with employee associations/unions and their leadership
  • Has expertise in fiscal matters and will ensure an open, transparent budgeting process; fiscally prudent, cost conscious
  • A “hands on” leader able to wear many hats, highly visible and active in the community, service clubs, schools and worksites
  • Able to know, appreciate and work effectively with all populations of a socio-economically and ethnically diverse community
  • Able to build strong communication links with the schools, district departments and the community
  • A team builder, one who recognizes the abilities and contributions of all district staff and motivates staff toward excellence
  • Able to build and maintain a climate of trust and respect within the district and with the community
  • Builds and supports a strong leadership team and honors the chain of command
  • Sets high expectations for staff & insists on evaluations of performance at all levels while maintaining a system of accountability for results
  • Knowledge of personnel practices and collective bargaining
  • Able to manage potential enrollment growth and facility demands

Board Relationships

  • Able to work effectively with the Governing Board to foster a common vision and commitment, maintain a strong governance team structure and establish strong board/superintendent relationships
  • Knows and actively supports school board members in their roles in district operations and activities

Application Procedures

All applications will be held strictly confidential. Each applicant is requested to follow the procedures listed below. Those applicants wishing additional information should contact the search consultants. Applications must be submitted on-line to:

Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
c/o Gerrie Fausett 805-331-4287 and Joe Condon, Ed.D. 310-901-3749, Consultants
Dave Long & Associates, Executive Search Services
636 Loretta Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date, May 6, 2013 (5:00 p.m.), to be considered:
  • A completed Application Information Form. (Please complete as instructed: do not complete by stating "see attached resume".) The Application Information Form and brochure may be completed via Dave Long & Associates' web page at DLAssoc.com.
  • A personal letter of application stating reasons for interest in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District superintendent position
  • A resume providing biographical background information about educational preparation, experience, and achievements
  • A placement file and/or five (5) current letters of professional references describing the applicant's performance in previously held positions

It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit placement papers or reference letters on-line to meet the May 6, 2013 (5:00 p.m.) deadline.

Selection Procedure

A professional screening committee of respected educational leaders will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant. The Board and the screening committee will use the described criteria during the screening, interviewing and final decision-making process. After receiving the report of the committee, the Board will select and interview the top candidates.

The Board will then select and invite candidates for final interviews and select the superintendent. Any applicant who contacts a board member with the intent of influencing the board’s decision will be disqualified. Travel expenses for those candidates selected for the initial interview will be the responsibility of the candidate. The Board may schedule a visit to the successful applicant’s community prior to finalizing its decision.

Salary Contract Terms

The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District Board of Education will offer a multi-year contract of employment with a salary that is competitive and negotiable based on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate, plus fringe benefits.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide the district with employment eligibility and verification of citizenship in compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The finalist will also be required to provide the district with certified transcripts that verify attainment of academic degrees and proof of appropriate credentials.

Board of Education

President, Keith Wolaridge
Vice President, Linda Brenner
Clerk, Cheryl Palla
Member, Dr. Dean Haddock
Member, Dolores Whitley

Application Timeline

Monday, May 6, 2013
Interviews are tentatively scheduled for May 24 and 25, 2013.