In interview with Star editorial board, Stratton says Shawnee Mission board will urge new superintendent to ‘communicate, communicate, communicate’

New board president Brad Stratton said he is looking for ways for the district to engage with the public.
New board president Brad Stratton said he is looking for ways for the district to engage with the public.

Shawnee Mission Board of Education President Brad Stratton told members of the Kansas City Star’s Editorial Board on Tuesday that he believed the next superintendent will need to be adept at working with others and with delegating responsibility.

Appearing on a Facebook Live broadcast with new board member Heather Ousley and editorial board members Colleen McCain Nelson and Dave Helling, Stratton said the board will be looking for a “collaborative and proactively communicating leader.”

“They can’t do it all by themselves,” Stratton said. “They have to engage a leadership team, engage the board… That’s the biggest task.”

The board will meet in a closed session this coming Saturday, Jan. 20, to review a curated list of superintendent candidates selected by consultant Ray and Associates. Stratton said he expected the board to discuss whether or not to have opportunities for the eventual finalists to meet with the public before it makes an offer. He indicated that he was in favor of the idea, but understood that some candidates may not be comfortable publicly announcing their candidacy for the Shawnee Mission job if they are currently employed in a high profile position with another district.

“I’m going to balance the need for these candidates’ privacy in their current job,” he said. “And so that’s the really trick.”

Stratton also said he believed the new superintendent will be well advised to work on establishing rapport with patrons and employees early on.

“In the early days, we’re going to say really focus on this district and communicate, communicate, communicate,” Stratton said.

Stratton and Ousley also discussed transparency, improving trust between district patrons and the board, and what the district wants to see in a school funding solution. You can watch the whole interview in the view below:

The Star’s Editorial Board with Brad Stratton & Heather Ousley of the Shawnee Mission School BoardToday on Facebook Live, Star editorial board members Colleen McCain Nelson and Dave Helling talk with Shawnee Mission School Board president Brad Stratton and board member Heather Ousley.

Posted by The Kansas City Star Opinion on Tuesday, January 16, 2018