Dear Members of the Bellevue School District,
Thank you for supporting our superintendent search. We are excited to share that yesterday, January 19, we reached a milestone in our search for a district leader for Bellevue School District: we offered a finalist the position of Superintendent. The finalist’s name will remain confidential as we enter contract negotiations. At a Special Board Meeting next Thursday, January 26, we will announce our newly selected superintendent, who will start on July 1, 2023. The community can view through live stream by accessing Board Docs. The link to join the meeting will be posted that day. We hope you will join the live stream to help us celebrate this community milestone and to meet our new superintendent.
Despite a nation-wide shortage of educators, including superintendents, we attracted approximately 30 applicants, reflecting a broad diversity of backgrounds and experiences. After carefully reviewing with respect to our community-generated Ideal Candidate Profile, we interviewed five semi-finalists. We narrowed further the pool of 5 semi-finalists to 3 finalists and 1 alternate to be advanced for in-depth reference checks as well as final interviews with community panels and Board. We then interviewed two finalist candidates. One of the three finalists withdrew from the process after obtaining another position elsewhere and the alternate elected to not move forward. We were confident based upon our two prior rounds of review and our reference checks that the best possible candidates to be considered were our remaining exceptional two finalists, and as such, elected not to bring the fifth semi-finalist back into consideration.
We also worked with our search firm to create community panels to participate in the interview process. It was important to us to have panels that were comprised of all aspects of our community. As such, our search firm used current demographic information about Bellevue School District students and staff as well as City of Bellevue demographic information to help us identify multiple points of diversity within our community to be reflected on our panels. We also took steps to ensure that we had diversity among the Bellevue School District employees on the panels as it relates to the type of positions that employees hold. Community panel applicants were then grouped based upon what they reported against the characteristics identified, with alternatives being identified consistent with the same grouping.
Community feedback is essential in representing the diverse perspectives of our community. Our search firm, Human Capital Enterprises, provided detailed summaries and all individual feedback following in-person candidate interviews and debriefs with that team. The work of our interview teams factored directly into our interviews with the finalists on Wednesday, January 18 and provided a wealth of feedback that helped us assess our candidates and their potential to lead our district.
Thank you for your deep investment and commitment to our school community. We heard from students asking how they could make school even better for the younger students behind them; teachers, educators and staff asking how they can make each day better than the one before for students, families, and each other; and parents and community members offering ways they can engage and support even more.
Across all our applicants, the reputation and attraction of the Bellevue School District went beyond our well-known academic excellence and vast offerings. They remarked on the depth of our community engagement and the rich diversity of our students and educators.
It is a privilege and honor to have been able to work with our community to conduct this search and select our next superintendent. We thank you again for your participation and support. We also thank our Interim Superintendent, Dr. Art Jarvis, and his extended team, for their support as we conducted our search; and we thank Human Capital Enterprises for their search expertise and guidance.
We look forward to the year ahead with optimism and gratitude.
Sima Sarrafan, Board President
Jane Aras, Board Director
Christine Chew, Board Director
Carolyn Watson, Board Director
Please email [email protected] to receive answers to any questions. You may also visit the following pages for more information about the Superintendent Search: