And Then There Were 3: Finalists for the Madison Superintendent Job

Madison Board of Education:

Following a first round of interviews with the five semifinalists, the Board of Education has selected three candidates as finalists for the position of Superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District.
In alphabetical order, the three candidates are:
Dr. Steve Gallon, District Administrative Director – Miami/Dade Public Schools, Miami, Florida [Clusty Search / Google Search / Live Search / Yahoo Search]
Dr. James McIntyre, Chief Operating Officer – Boston Public Schools, Boston, Massachusetts [Clusty Search / Google Search / Live Search / Yahoo Search]
Dr. Daniel Nerad, Superintendent of Schools – Green Bay Area Public School District, Green Bay, Wisconsin [Clusty Search / Google Search / Live Search / Yahoo Search ]
The Board interviewed the candidates last evening and today.
Each of the three finalists will spend a day in Madison on January 22, 23 or 24. In addition to a second interview with the Board, the candidates will visit some schools and see parts of Madison, talk to attendees at the Community Meet and Greet, and speak with district administrators.
The community is invited to the Meet and Greets scheduled from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center on January 22, 23 and 24. In the first hour, attendees will be able to briefly meet and greet the candidate as part of a receiving line. From 5:00 to 5:15 p.m. each day, the candidate will make a brief statement and might take questions. The session will end promptly at 5:15 p.m.
The schedule for visits by the finalists:
Tuesday, January 22 Steve Gallon
Wednesday, January 23 James McIntyre
Thursday, January 24 Daniel Nerad
On January 26 or 27, the Board will identify a preferred finalist. To ensure the Board’s research will be as comprehensive as possible, a Board delegation is expected to visit the finalist’s community during the week of January 28. The announcement of the appointment of the new Superintendent is scheduled for early February.


The consulting firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates was hired by the Board last summer to manage the search and advise the Board during the process. In October, the Board approved the leadership profile developed as a result of community input. This profile can be viewed by going to “Superintendent Search” at
For the last three months, the consultants recruited candidates for the position, conducted preliminary reference checks for the most promising applicants, and conducted initial interviews.
From this process, the consultants brought to the Board a select slate of candidates from which the five semifinalists were named by the Board on January 7.
The semifinalists were chosen from among 25 persons who sought the position currently held by Art Rainwater. Rainwater will retire on June 30, 2008, with the new Superintendent scheduled to begin on July 1.

One thought on “And Then There Were 3: Finalists for the Madison Superintendent Job”

  1. The cloistered evaluation of the MMSD superintendent candidates and the “meet and greet” process which the Board is allowing speaks volumes on why the MMSD and Board must be abolished.
    No Public Input, please. No parent input, no taxpayer input, no teacher input. Smoke, mirrors, and shadows.
    Somehow, the Board thinks it actually knows what it is doing. It never has in the past, and nothing in its current behavior indicates a break from their long history of pathetic incompetence.
    Now, what would a reasonably competent superintendent hiring process look like?
    Let’s contrast how the Board and MMSD conducts its business with how UW Madison (a public education institution, by the way) conducted its business, in public, in hiring its new CIO (Chief Information Officer), and Director of the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) for UW Madison (the position has a dual role).
    The URL gives a flavor of the public nature of this process.
    To quote briefly from this UW Madison announcement:
    “Campus visits, interviews set for CIO candidates
    May 30, 2007
    The schedule for two-day campus visits and interviews has been established for the three finalists in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s search for a new chief information officer (CIO). All schedules will incorporate opportunities for the campus community and the public to meet and become familiar with the candidates.
    In each of the public forums, a Webcast will be made available to campus IP addresses. For more detailed information on each of the finalists, the cover letters, curriculum vitae (CV) and complete campus schedules, follow the links below.”
    I, like everyone else on campus, had the opportunity to listen to and participate in these public forums, though I, like most, had no direct role on who would be selected, comments were solicited, and their public performances may have had a bearing on the final decision process.
    These candidates met with stakeholders in several sessions, giving prepared remarks and taking questions. As noted above, many of these sessions were streamed and recorded. I, along with many of my colleagues, did participate, and were able to ask questions and received considered answers from each of the candidates.
    The University is a shared governance institution, so, regardless of the importance of the CIO position (and most positions within the University), campus leaders try to lead, but they cannot readily dictate. By-in by staff and employees, and professors, and students, and the need for reasoned decision-making seem to be a hallmark of the University governance (and a source of both its strengths and weaknesses).
    UW Madison has about 41,000 students; 20,000 faculty/staff, 350,000 living alumni, and a $2B budget.
    MMSD has 1/2 the students (but for 12 years), 1/5 the staff, and about 1/5 the budget.
    Now, contrast UW Madison CIO hiring process to MMSD/BoE’s hiring process for Superintendent. The candidates for MMSD Superintendent will not have to address the public and take questions from the public. In fact, this is all very hush-hush.
    The Superintendent candidates now know that their responsibility will not be to the public, that the public, the taxpayers are to be avoided, that the requirements that the public who send their kids to MMSD schools will not be of any importance. That MMSD is not a shared governance institution but a dictatorship, orchestrated by BoE.
    Candidates now know that they will have free rein to do what they please, public interest and input notwithstanding; they will not have to prove themselves competent, that though they will be in the public eye, they only need to lead in the shadows. They know that they will be beholding only to the majority of BoE members who hired them, and they, themselves, are easily manipulated.
    MMSD: A sheltered workshop for those who can fake it. A truly competent candidate for Superintendent would not accept the position.

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