Small turnout for meeting

    Two members of the North Adams school board met with a handful of residents Wednesday evening to discuss the school district's search for a new superintendent and to field questions surrounding survey forms that are being circulated to assist in that search.
    Board members Tim Ehlerding and Al Converset said the first of two public meetings was scheduled to field questions from the public about the surveys, which are being made available at Adams Memorial Hospital, Adams County Public Library in Decatur, and the North Adams community Schools administration building. Surveys will also be available on the North Adams website at Completed surveys can be dropped off at the same locations.
    The deadline for returning the forms is February 15.
    The survey forms ask residents to list what they consider to be the strengths of the school district, as well as the challeges it faces. Respondents are also asked to list the professional and personal skills they would like to see in a new superintendent.
    Ehlerding said the survey forms have also been distributed to all teachers in the school district.
    "We want to gather as much information as we can," Converset said. "We hope to have hundreds, if not thousands, of responses."
    The board's search for a new superintendent was prompted late last year when current superintendent Dr. Wylie Sirk announced his pending retirement. Ehlerding said the school hopes to a new superintendent hired by May.
    "We have no preconceived notion of what we're looking for in a superintendent, only what's best for the school," Ehlerding said. "We've been told we can probably expect 15 or more applicants."
    "This person has to have a vision for the school district, and the ability to communicate that vision and to sell our school district to students," Converset said. "The survey that's being circulated is simply asking what qualities in general this superintendent should have."
    Another public meeting to field questions about the survey will be held from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, February 4, at the Riverside Center.