Newport-Mesa supt. search process finalized

The Newport-Mesa Unified school board has finalized the process, timeline and makeup of a group that will search for the next superintendent.

The process includes 10 community input meetings and reforming the Superintendent Community Interview Group.

"We want to get as much input as we can, and we want people to feel that they can be involved," interim Supt. Rob Barbot, who is also running the search process for his permanent replacement, said during a study session Tuesday night.

The board moved to pare down the number of participants in the interview group to 31 from the 45-member committee who helped hire former Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard, who was sentenced to three years' probation and 60 days in jail following his January conviction of two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds.

Barbot said having 45 members — 24 more than the group that helped hire him in 1998 — wouldn't work. He added that the conversations couldn't go in depth with that many people.

For the latest search, committee members will come from the Coast Community College District; Costa Mesa United; Harbor Council Parent Teacher Assn.; District English Learner Advisory Committee; adult education; Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation; the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa; Newport-Mesa Supervisors; the chambers of commerce in Newport, Costa Mesa and Corona del Mar; the student population; parents; the Newport-Mesa Administrators Assn.; the California School Employees Assn.; and the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers.

After the school board narrows down the pool, the group will interview candidates June 8. The board plans to visit the top candidate's community before hiring him or her at its regular meeting June 26.

The board also approved a recruitment brochure that will be distributed nationally to all school districts with more than 5,000 students.

Trustee Martha Fluor wanted to ensure that the brochure specifically stated that the district was looking for a candidate who has experience with program-improvement schools.

She also brought up concerns that the board hasn't discussed the superintendent's salary before the application process starts.

"[The] salary will be negotiable and competitive based on the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate," according to the brochure.

Fluor said she is worried that candidates will see Hubbard's final compensation online and expect commensurate pay.

"I'm concerned about raising the expectation because I believe we're looking at a lower amount, but we haven't had that conversation yet," she said.

Barbot said he will gather salary data from similar districts and share it with the board before it begins screening candidates.

britney.barnes@latimes.com

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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If You Go

Get involved at one of the stakeholder input meetings:

Estancia High School: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday during the PTA meeting

Rea Elementary School: 7 to 8 p.m. March 22 during the PTA meeting

Corona del Mar High School: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 4 during PTA meeting

Mariners Elementary School: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 4 during PTA meeting

Davis Magnet School: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 16 during PTA meeting

Costa Mesa High School: 7 to 8 p.m. April 16 during PTA meeting

Newport Harbor High School: 10 to 11 a.m. April 18 during PTA meeting

Newport Coast Elementary School: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 19 during PTA meeting

District English Language Advisory Committee: 7 to 8 p.m. April 19

District Education Center: 9 to 10 a.m. April 23

Timeline

March 26: Names of Superintendent Community Interview Group participants must be submitted

March 27: Newport-Mesa Unified school board selects interview group members

May 4: Deadline for superintendent candidates to submit their applications online

Week of May 7: Candidates screened

Week of May 14: School board selects candidates to interview

May 15 to June 1: School district checks references

June 4 to 8: School board determines top candidates

June 8: Interview group interviews top candidates

June 9: School board makes a tentative selection

June 26: School board will hire new superintendent at its regular meeting

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