What characteristics do you want in a superintendent? Sioux Falls weighs in

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Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher is leaving his position in June. On Monday night, the public attended a meeting on who should succeed Maher. The meeting included community members as well as people from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a firm hired by the district to help them find their next superintendent.

“We just talked about the process, and then we tried to be quiet and listen to what others had to say, and one of us was scribing and taking notes, the other one trying to facilitate the group,” said Ted Blaesing, a senior associate with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.

Haley Elness and Rochelle Sydnor-Kahl, both of Sioux Falls, were here because they have a stake in the future.

“Came here tonight because we want to be invested in our community, and we want to make sure that the school district that we truly care about continues to expand and prosper the way that it has been,” Sydnor-Kahl said.

“I attended because I’m passionate about education,” Elness said. “I have my degree in education, and I used to be a classroom teacher in Sioux Falls, and so it was important for me to come and be part of the conversation.”

Each shared some characteristics they’d like to see in the district’s next superintendent.

“It is important to me that our next superintendent is somebody who is very well-versed in cultural advocacy,” Elness said. “I think that our city is really incredible in the way it’s grown, and the diversity that our city has. And so someone who is ready to take that what it is as such a gift for our city, but also recognize that there is a lot of education that comes with that.”

“I’d like to see somebody who’s innovative, who’s willing to appreciate where we’re at now, but also look at taking us forward as a school district, and also look for somebody that is highly collaborative, willing to listen to the community, the parents and the teachers as well,” Sydnor-Kahl said.

You can weigh in via a survey on the school district’s website.

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