Board amends hiring process policy to hear more voices

·2 min read

Trustees at Arrow Lakes School District 10 got a first glimpse last month at the job facing them to replace retiring Superintendent Terry Taylor.

The board was asked to consider changing its hiring policies at a special meeting in December in order to allow more flexibility in the selection process for a new superintendent. Taylor announced last month she was retiring at the end of the school year.

Saying it wanted to get the job vacancy filled “in a timely manner,” the board passed the Notice of Motion on amendments to its Recruitment and Selection of Exempt Staff Policy on December 17.

“There are very few people who are qualified to take over the position of superintendent, so moving on this as expeditiously as possible is a wise thing for the board to consider so they can look at it in a timely way,” Superintendent Taylor said after the board approved reviewing the policy.

“It’s around timing. Given that my coming retirement has been announced, and the board is considering its options to fill my position, the next piece was the board to look at its policy.”

The existing hiring policy was first drawn up nearly 30 years ago, and last revised in 2016.

“Legal and other external consultants recommend the Board revise its policy to have greater flexibility in processes for filling the position of Superintendent/ Secretary-Treasurer,” said a summary to trustees. “Greater flexibility in the policy will align with a more accurate reflection of the current HR climate and acknowledge that there are shifting practices in the province for Boards when considering Superintendent recruitment options.”

Essentially the changes will allow the board to consult with a wider variety of community stakeholders on the hire, rather than just school-based groups like parent councils, teachers and staff. It also gives the board leeway to either hire internally, conduct a standard open competition, or select an alternative hiring process, allowing the board to “identify and appoint a candidate who is best able to serve the district’s needs.”

The changes were made after consulting with district legal advisers on modernizing the process.

But to make the policy changes in a timely fashion, the board had to get the process underway before Christmas. The Notice of Motion that was passed allows the public to have some input when the policy changes come to the January board meeting for ratification.

That meeting is scheduled for January 19.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice