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Iowa firm to help pick Kent schools superintendent

The Kent School Board has selected a firm from Iowa to aid with the search for a new superintendent to replace Barbara Grohe, who is retiring at the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Ray and Associates is a nationally recognized form that specializes in school-executive leadership searches. Locally, the company was involved in searches for superintendents in the Seattle and Tacoma school districts. According to Kent board member Bill Boyce, good reviews from school boards in Seattle and Tacoma helped put the firm over the top.

“The data was pretty clear Ray and Associates was the right firm for us,” he said of the board’s decision last Wednesday.

Boyce said the board sent out 20 invites to search firms and received about 10 responses, which were then narrowed to four. The final four firms were interviewed by the board to find out how’d they help the search and what they offered.

“We wanted to make sure this would be driven by the board and their role would be guiding us,” he said.

Boyce said a contract was still being worked out with Ray and Associates, but he expected the cost to be between $25,000 and $35,000.

Boyce said the goal is to hire Grohe’s replacement by next March.

The plan is to get the community involved and provide feedback to board members about what the community wants in a new superintendent, Boyce said.

Grohe announced her retirement last April. She has been the superintendent for 10 years.

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