The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Board of Education will reopen the search for a new Superintendent next month, the board announced at a virtual press conference Tuesday afternoon.
This decision came after Matthew Gutiérrez, who was offered the position, rescinded his acceptance due to the acceleration of the coronavirus pandemic. Monday night, the board met in a closed session to discuss possible next steps and decided that reopening the search was the best option.
“He would have been a great leader for our community,” MMSD School Board President Gloria Reyes said. “However, we are indeed moving forward.”
The board will open the search for the month of May, and plan to begin looking through applications and conducting interviews during June. The board will continue using BWP & Associates, a school district consulting service, to aid in their national search. Dr. Jane Belmore will continue as the Interim Superintendent for the time being.
“Our intent is to see if there are any candidates we feel would be a good fit for us,” Reyes said. “Decisions moving forward will come in phases. If we do not feel that there are any candidates that meet the criteria for an interview, or those that are interviewed don’t meet the needs of the district then the board at the time will reconvene to decide next steps. We are being purposeful and methodical to find the right person who will MMSD forward.”
Gutiérrez’s selection drew some criticism from leaders in Madison’s Black community, who questioned the process that led to his hiring. While the search process will look different due to the pandemic and social distancing regulations, Reyes assured that the selection would continue to involve community engagement.
“I think that oftentimes we hear from different perspectives in our community and we take all that in in a very holistic process,” she said. “We give value to the individuals, organizations and people who have provided us input and will continue to do that. But I think at the end of the day, our people have to realize that this is a decision that the board makes and the board has more information than others have during the hiring process.”
Currently, there is no set date on when applications will open.