Position Details
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District: Needles Unified School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Closing Date: Monday, July 1, 2013

The Position

The Board of Trustees of the Needles Unified School District announces an opening for the position of District Superintendent and invites well-qualified educators with strong instructional, business, management, and leadership skills to apply for the position. The candidate selected will assume leadership of the District effective September 1, 2013, or before, preferably by the start of school.

The Community

The City of Needles, bordered by the Colorado River on the east, is a small community with a population of 5,000. The School District boundaries, however, stretch 75 miles west through an arid-tropical desert environment and 70 miles south along the Colorado River with an approximate total population of 25,000. Bullhead-Laughlin Airport is 25 miles north of Needles with regularly scheduled flights to selected cities.

The region is rich with recreational activities including an 18 hole golf course in Needles, marinas for water sports and fishing on the Colorado River, as well as numerous casinos with restaurants and entertainment in Laughlin, Nevada, 25 miles to the north. Winter visitors are a mainstay of the local business community during the temperate winter months. Summer recreation plays a most important role in the local economy during the warm season of the year.

The District

Needles Unified School District encompasses an area of approximately 6,000 square miles and serves the city of Needles as well as the communities of Amboy, Big River, Cadiz, Goffs, Essex, Havasu Landing, and Parker Dam. Needles High School serves all high school students from the entire region except for students in the Big River and Parker Dam areas who attend high school in Parker, Arizona, the nearest high school to these communities.

With an enrollment of 846 students, the District serves its student population at five separate school sites. Vista Colorado Elementary School, Needles Middle School, Needles High School, and the Educational Training Center are located in the city of Needles. Big River Elementary School (K-8) is located 55 miles south of Needles. The District has 50 certificated and 47 classified employees and a budget of $8.1 million. The diverse student population represents 1 percent Asian, 9 percent African American, 18 percent Native American, 21 percent Hispanic, and 51 percent White.

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

  • Appropriate administrative credential to serve as superintendent of a K-12 school district
  • An earned Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Experience as a classroom teacher, school principal and/or cabinet level district administrator
  • An earned Doctor’s Degree from an accredited college or university desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to provide effective visionary leadership and strategic planning to focus human and material resources towards the primary goal of quality education for students
  • A record of ability to accomplish long range planning, including the establishment of clear goals and objectives with long term follow through, in concert with Board, staff, and the community.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and maintaining productive Board/Superintendent/Staff relations with open two-way communication.
  • A record of ability to refine, improve, and implement curriculum, instruction, and management strategies by working with and through people and utilizing their talents and skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of what constitutes a successful unified school district.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of curriculum content and teaching strategies at K-12 levels and the ability to model for teacher development.
  • Record of being a highly visible educational leader within the school district and community and with governmental agencies at the County, State, and Federal levels.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the California Education Code and ability to interpret and implement it.
  • Record of empowerment of staff to fulfill their areas of responsibility while holding them and self accountable for showing results.
  • Record of involvement in positive, cooperative staff relations that are productive for students and perceived as mutually beneficial to all.
  • Demonstrated success utilizing community resources to assist and support the total educational endeavor.
  • Demonstrated success in maintaining district solvency and in creative approaches to financing, planning, and implementing the development, improvement and maintenance of school facilities.
  • Demonstrated success in developing college going mind-set in district and community.
  • Knowledge of and desire to pursue grants and alternative funding.

Personal Characteristics

  • Clear demonstration of honesty, integrity, openness and a strong sense of confidence in oneself and others.
  • Ability to communicate in a straightforward and sensitive manner with all members of the educational community, in both oral and written expression.
  • Genuine affection for young people coupled with a commitment to bring about high school achievement and strong student discipline.
  • Commitment to promote the concept that all children have identifiable talents/skills which will be emphasized in the educational program of the district.
  • Ability to listen and to be open to new ideas and divergent opinions and to secure meaningful involvement of staff and community to improve the quality of education for students.
  • Ability to develop trust and collaboration between various groups within the district and the community.
  • Recognition that change is vital in any organization and that necessary change can best take place when those affected by the change are actively involved in the process.
  • Recognition of the importance of keeping the Board informed and knowledgeable regarding issues and problems and providing the Board with recommended solutions to facilitate the Board’s decision-making processes.
  • Courage to make recommendations, and when necessary, unpopular decisions in the best interest of children.
  • Willingness to “do it all” as often as required in a small school district.

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 board advisor:

Dr. Patricia Novotney 760-567-5590 (cell), 951-600-8747 (home)

Applications must be submitted on-line to:

Needles Unified School District
c/o Dr. Patricia Novotney, Advisor
Dave Long & Associates, Executive Search Services
All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date, Monday, July 1, 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 Needles Unified 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 Monday, July 1, 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 the final interviews, conduct the 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.

Salary Contract Terms

The Board of Trustees of the Needles Unified School District intends to offer the successful candidate a multi-year contract. The salary is competitive and commensurate with training and experience and the terms of the contract are open and negotiable.

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

Christina Cameron-Otero, President
Steve Thomas, Vice President
Robert Smith, Clerk
Margot McKee, Elector
Marilyn Mathews, Member
Michael Sleppy, Member

Applications Close

Monday, July 1, 2013 (5:00 p.m.)