National firm being enlisted for search

Fee to find new education superintendent may near $50,000, board says

September 15, 1999|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County's Board of Education takes its first major step to replace outgoing Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione, with members expected to meet tomorrow with a representative for a national search firm.

The school board has contracted with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates Ltd. of Glenview, Ill., the same headhunting firm that found superintendents for Prince George's and Montgomery counties recently.

Board members agreed to pay the firm a base fee of $25,000, plus $6,000 to cover travel and lodging expenses for consultants. In addition, the school system could pay $19,000 for advertising and trips to interview candidates and tour their school systems. Total expenses could reach $50,000.

William J. Attea, a principal partner with the search firm, will meet with the school board in Towson to explain the search process and field questions about the release of candidate names and public input, board member John A. Hayden said yesterday.

The Hazard firm was the top choice of most members of the school board, Hayden said.

Founded in 1987, the company has been aggressively conducting high-profile superintendent searches recently, said Jay Goldman, editor of The School Administrator, published by the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va.

"I would have been surprised if they hadn't won the job," Goldman said. "I've been just amazed at the number of medium- to large-school superintendent searches they've conducted."

An advertisement last week in Education Week, the nation's largest education trade publication, gives a sampling of Hazard's clients, including school systems in areas near Las Vegas, Chicago and Seattle. The firm also is conducting a search for a Howard County school superintendent.

The timing of Baltimore County's search could work in the school system's favor, Goldman said, because a number of candidates are available for a short list of openings this time of the year.

"They are conducting their search at a time when there's not a lot of competition," he said.

Salary could be a central issue in Baltimore County's superintendent search. Marchione makes$128,750 annually, significantly less than the top administrator in Montgomery County, where school board members recently approved a contract worth nearly $300,000, including a base salary of $237,000.

Marchione, 67, announced last month that he will retire in June. He has served as head of the 106,550-student system since 1996.

Pub Date: 9/15/99

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