During the hiring process for a new superintendent for the Plainfield Public School District, I and several neighbors have questioned the board of education's methods:
- Why did the process begin so late in the year?
- Why was the public given only a few short weeks to voice our preferences for the new hire?
- Why was Interim Superintendent Ron Bolandi’s offer to conduct the search for free turned down by the board?
- Why did the board not ask Dr. Bolandi to return to the district after resigning? He had expressed a sincere desire to return and help the district transition to a permanent superintendent.
I’ve been attending board of education meetings since January. In these five months I’ve found the board’s decision process to be less than transparent. When I asked if the ad for the new superintendent could be changed to include a better description of our district’s challenges, I was told it could and that the changes would be forwarded to the hiring team. But the team leader reported she never received the changes from the board.
In the end, the board will have spent thousands of dollars on the superintendent search. And last night a board majority of five approved a candidate.
I wish the new hire well. I hope she succeeds where decades of other superintendents have failed. Dr. Bolandi implemented several promising initiatives. Perhaps she might build on them while also proposing effective ones of her own, for the sake of the students, the health of our schools, and the prosperity of our city.
As observers of the process, my neighbors and I will continue to monitor the board’s process and hopefully the district’s progress. We welcome any others who are also interested in improving the quality of education in Plainfield.