NBEDC, Business Community and Higher Education Leaders Help City Search for Superintendent of Schools

New Bedford Economic Development Council
Business owners and educators gathered at the New Bedford Economic Development Council office to participate in the search process for the next Superintendent of New Bedford Schools. Hosted by business owner Nelson Hocker-Lotz, NBEDC president Tony Sapienza, and executive director Matthew A. Morrissey, the Business and Higher Education focus group, one of nine community based meetings held city wide, was facilitated by Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Freddie Fuentes.
Using consensus building techniques, the group of 13 centered their 2 hour discussion and recommendations around questions put forth by the search committee to help assess public opinions, thoughts and suggestions through surveys, community forums and focus groups. The questions specifically focus on the group’s perspective regarding strengths of the school district, challenges that the schools face, and characteristics and qualities that the ideal candidate should have. The information will be shared with school committee members to aid in the search and transition process.
“It is very important for the business community and educators to be engaged in such a critical juncture in the city’s history,” said Mr. Sapienza. “The success of our school system’s ability to prepare our children for higher education and/or the workplace has an enormous impact on this city’s economic well being – from the family to the neighborhood to the city at large. The search committee has done a service to the city by inviting the community and parents, as well as teachers and administrators, to lend their perspective and experience to the process.”
Community members can express their vision, hopes and recommendations to the Search-Sub Committee by attending a focus group for parents on Thursday, December 6 from 6-8p.m. at the Family Resource and Development Center, 105 William Street. A community forum will be held at Keith Middle School on December 10, 2007 at 6:00p.m. These meetings are not focused in any direction and are an open mechanism for input in a wide array of areas.
An online survey at the New Bedford Public Schools website as well as the City of New Bedford website is available for teachers, administrators and other community members to participate in the search. The survey, sent to all parents who have children within the New Bedford Schools, aims to assess: leadership criteria, particular candidate questions, thoughts about district/school/student needs, and areas that constitute salient issues for the community.

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