CALABASAS : Firm Hired in Search for Schools Chief

The Las Virgenes Unified School District has hired a consultant to find a replacement for Supt. Albert (Bud) Marley, who is retiring, officials said.

The Board of Education in a special meeting Monday voted unanimously to hire Ferris and Associates of Orange County, said board President Barbara Bowman-Fagelson. The firm's owner, Robert Ferris, will be paid $17,200 to conduct a nationwide search, she said.

Bowman-Fagelson added that in-house candidates are also urged to apply. "All individuals who meet the qualifications, both in the school district, and outside, are encouraged to apply," she said.

Marley, 63, announced at a board meeting in January that he is retiring at the end of this school year, two years before his contract was to expire. He said he wanted to retire early so he and his wife, Jacque, could "move on into a new season."

Board members had the option of choosing a candidate known to them or conducting a nationwide search to replace Marley. Bowman-Fagelson said a consultant was necessary because the search would overwhelm district officials, who might have to screen as many as 500 applications.

Ferris, who firm was selected from among four companies, is scheduled to be introduced at a board meeting tonight. Later this week, Ferris will spend a couple of days learning more about the community, Marley said.

For the next few days, Ferris will be seeking input on what kind of superintendent people think the district needs, said Marley. After those meetings are finished, the position will be advertised, possibly by mid-March, Marley said.

Bowman-Fagelson said in a recent interview that her ideal candidate would be "someone with strong administrative skills, someone who was out in the community, someone who is an academic leader and someone who has the ability to be a fund-raiser."

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