Osceola County Superintendent Questions

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Mar 29, 2011, 6:53:21 AM3/29/11
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School superintendent candidates will be interviewed during the ongoing
selection process. In preparation for this, we will need insightful and
representative questions from the community at large. For anyone interested,
please submit two types of questions for consideration:

1) Short answer: a question asked over the phone with the expectation of an
immediate answer.

2) Long answer: a question submitted in writing by email with the
expectation of receiving a written response after a period of reflection.

Please respond to this topic thread instead of the other "Superintendent
Search" threads if you have an questions for superintendent candidates. I
will also submit my own questions over time. Please indicate if you expect
your question to be "short answer" or "long answer".

If anyone objects to the verbiage of any question for whatever reason,
please explain why and revisions will be considered.

All questions that appear here will be aggregated and summarized as we go.


Apr 11, 2011, 9:25:51 PM4/11/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Any questions at all would be helpful folks. I started off with a few from
my own family. Perhaps you can do the same.

To make things easier, I have broken out the two question types into their
own threads:

Short answer:

Long answer:


May 7, 2011, 8:39:07 PM5/7/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Attached are the compiled lists of superintendent candidate questions (both
short answer and long answer) from all committee members. Most are
categorized as "short answer", but many of the "short answer" questions
really belong on the "long answer" list.

Here is the list of questions that I used during actual phone interviews
(first section). The middle section consists of questions requiring written
responses. The last section consists of questions that I felt were
inappropriate and I did not ask them. Other committee members are free to
ask them as they see fit.

Short Answer Questions

Q1) How many years were you a student in public schools?

Q2) Have your children or grandchildren ever attended a private school? If
so, why?

Q4) Approximately how many students were in your most recent school
district? How many schools? What was the annual budget?

Q5) What is your opinion of educators who read PowerPoint presentations as
their primary method of teaching?

Q6) How do you feel about the reliability and usefulness of student surveys
of their teachers?

Q7) Are you aware that some Osceola County school buses are not
air-conditioned, even during hot and humid months of the year? What would
you do about this?

Q8) Do you support FCAT?

Q11) If offered the position of Superintendent, would you be committed to
Osceola County for an extended period of time?

Q12) In your opinion, is it more beneficial to have been a Superintendent in
a small district or a Deputy Superintendent/Administrator in a district as
large as or larger than Osceola County (53,000 students)?

Q18) What has been your direct involvement in the evaluation of principals?

Q21) What have you done to provide an increased level of communications for
staff, students, parents, and community?

Q22) What do you consider are your areas of expertise?

Q24) Have you ever worked in a Union Management environment under a
Collective Bargaining agreement?

Q30) Why do you want to leave your present job?

Q31) What makes this job interesting to you?

Q33) What is your philosophy on delegating authority? How do you then
maintain accountability?

Q35) Define the roles in the negotiation process of the principals,
Superintendent, and School Board.

Q36) Have you ever been the chief negotiator in developing a salary schedule
or contract?

Q37) Have you ever been involved in deficit financing? What is your
philosophy on deficit spending?

Q38) What is your philosophy on surplus in your school budget? How much is

Q39) Do you know the financial condition of the Osceola School district? How
would you describe our situation?

Q41) What experience have you had with a transportation program?

Q44) What is your position on field trips for students into the community?
What about field trips outside of the community?

Q45) What do you know about Florida Senate Bill 736 and how it relates to

Q46) How much have you learned about Race to the Top in the state of Florida
and what we have done in Osceola County?

Q47) Do you know about Dr. Robert Marzano? How much do you understand about
Dr. Marzano's evaluation system for teachers?

Q48) How much impact will the loss of stimulus money and the decrease in
student spending have on the Osceola School District in the coming years?

Long Answer Questions (meant for written responses)

Q3b) What plan of action would you take to implement Florida's Race to the
Top initiatives successfully?

Q9) Will you allow teachers to provide input and have a voice into matters
that concern them? How will you go about this? How will you determine if
there are legitimate issues and concerns at the teacher/staff level?

Q10) How will you handle a difficult parent? Define "difficult parent". How
will you handle five individual personalities on the School Board?

Q14) How do fine arts and performing arts fit in to your overall plan for a
school district?

Q16) Discuss the experiences you have had in working with the special needs
of exceptional education students and language enriched pupils (LEP). What
initiatives have you implemented in your current district to meet the
special needs of exceptional education students and limited English speaking
students? What were the results?

Q17) Discuss the progress the schools in your district have made in the area
of student achievement. What role did you play in these accomplishments?

Q19) Discuss the experience you have in motivating a diverse staff and
student body.

Q20) How has diversity impacted your leadership in your current workplace?
What role have you played in celebrating diversity?

Q23) What is your position on privatization of County School Board jobs?

Q25) What sort of relationship do you envision between employer and Union at
the School Board?

Q32) What do you know about this community and school district?

Q42) How would you organize this district's custodial services?

Q43) How would you operate the food service program? Should the food
service program operate in the black?

Q49) As an example, let's assume that you are not familiar with the "Race to
the Top" standards for the state of Florida. How do you get up-to-speed
quickly on such unfamiliar policies implemented in other states? Describe
the method that you would use.

Q50) What do you think about the Parent Internet Viewer (PIV) used in the
Osceola County School District? What have you used in the past to keep
parents informed of their children's grade status? What is the maximum
amount of time that should elapse between the determination of an assignment
or test grade and when it is posted online for parents to see? Please

Q51) How would you verify on a day-to-day basis that your policies and
procedures are being properly implemented? For example, how do you know if
teachers are handing out the questions and answers to midterm or final

Q52) What plans would you implement to eliminate sugary products in school
cafeterias and vending machines?

Q53) Given the state school systems are currently face with regarding
bullying on campus as well as off campus, briefly mention:

a. What measure(s) have you implemented in dealing with this issue in
your current position?

b. What measure(s) you will implement across the school system to ensure
the safety of all children?

c. How will you ensure that this method is implemented in all schools?

Q54) What method(s) do you have in mind to deal with out-of-zone students?

Q55) What will you do to recruit minority teachers to Osceola County?

Leading, Confrontational, Vague, Irrelevant, Extraneous or Duplicate

Q3) How familiar are you with the "Race to the Top" standards for the state
of Florida?

Q13) Recognizing the cultural and economic diversity in Osceola County, are
you more prone to allow individual principals the ability to run their own
schools according to the demographics of their school? Or, do you believe a
"cookie cutter" approach for the entire district is more appropriate?

Q15) What characteristics of leadership do you bring to this position that
makes you the best candidate for the position?

Q26) Do you understand what the current demographic make-up is in Osceola
County in the general public and among the school board blue-collar

Q27) What is your opinion on the current legislative proposals in
Tallahassee on public employees with regards to: increases in pension costs
for employees; payroll dues deduction for employees; and the general animus
toward public employees?

Q28) Could you comment on the wages/number of hours for School Board
employees and what you would do to help ensure they are receiving a living

Q29) How would you address an overzealous management employee with regards
to over-supervision or lack of people skills with the employees they are
responsible for?

Q34) What are the advantages/disadvantages of school employee unions?

Q40) Do you believe a school district has responsibility for improving the
instructional effectiveness of its teachers?

Superintendent Citizens Search Committee - Candidate Questions.pdf

Ray Walls

May 7, 2011, 10:14:41 PM5/7/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Excellent decisions on the questions you excluded, George. Am I understanding correctly that some committee members might actually pose to candidates those questions you thoughtfully excluded? If that is the case, I'm appalled by the impression that will give the candidates regarding our school district.

It's unfortunate that our school board members chose to engrain union and other outside interests into this selection process. By the looks of some of those questions, it appears as though the people who posed them are driving the focus away from where it should be: the education of our kids and efficient management.

The lack of quality applications and the seemingly small number of any applications, given the current job market, I think speaks volumes to the not necessarily positive reputation of Osceola County schools and the outside impression of its general environment. This is something that I think our school board members really need to attend to in the near-term.

In any event, thanks for your service in this process and for keeping us all informed.


Sent from my iPhone

> <Superintendent Citizens Search Committee - Candidate Questions.pdf>

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