VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo County School Corporation has a big role to fill after Superintendent Rob Haworth announced his retirement on Monday evening.

So, what comes next in the process to fill that role?

Timeline for superintendent search

Steve Horton, Director of Board Services for the Indiana School Boards Association, said the Vigo County School Board will likely kick off the search in January, due to legal and contractual restrictions and procedure.

“January, February, March is what we refer to as search season,” Horton explained. “That’s generally when moves are made and boards realize that ‘okay, we need to search for a new superintendent’. So, that would be appropriate, which means they have time to get those ducks in a row before they actually go on to search.”

From there, Horton said the board could have a new superintendent in place by late spring / early summer.

“The search itself takes about three months, typically, if it’s done well,” Horton said. “My counsel for boards is don’t try to rush this search, doing this on a pressed timeline adds stress and doesn’t allow them to really vet well and make a good decision.”

Steps involved in superintendent search

Horton said the VCSC School Board is already considering options for a consultant or consultation team to help with the search process; a step he said is good to start early.

Once the board chooses that person or team, the process shifts to the candidate application and the interview process. Horton said every search involves community input, a process he said is very valuable.

“It’s important for the board to realize there is value in looking at the feedback,” Horton said. “Really weighing what the community is telling you; what they’re looking for, what they see as concerns, what kind of professional traits would they want to see and personal traits would they want to see in an ideal superintendent candidate.”

Board members will work together to craft interview questions for candidates that are tailored to the needs of the school corporation and will go through multiple rounds of interviews before landing on a final candidate to vote in to the position.

How did this process go in 2018?

Former VCSC Superintendent Danny Tanoos announced his retirement in February 2018, and the former school board had a similar task at hand that the current school board faces in 2023.

Tanoos stayed on as superintendent until July 2018, so there was not a need for an interim superintendent, the role Dr. Tom Balitewicz will fill for VCSC in the coming months.

The search committee in 2018 sent out a community survey to get input and went through the interview process before announcing Haworth as the superintendent in July 2018. Haworth was voted in by the school board unanimously after they approved his contract.

Haworth’s salary for his first year on the job was $218,000.

Horton said the interim role is helpful for allowing the board to focus on the search process rather than manage day-to-day operations within the school corporation.

The VCSC Board of Trustees sent the following statement in response to a request for an interview Tuesday:

On Monday, the Board received news of Dr. Haworth’s retirement, effective January 2, 2023. We are saddened by the news, grateful for his leadership during the past almost five years, and wish him well in future endeavors. The Board appointed Dr. Thomas Balitewicz, Director of Student Services, to serve as the Interim Superintendent until a replacement is named. We look forward to working with the new Board members in the coming months to find a new Superintendent.”

Continue to follow for continuing coverage on the search for VCSC’s new Superintendent.