The Palo Alto Board of Education met with superintendent-search firm Leadership Associates Wednesday afternoon to discuss the top school-district position and has chosen four leading applicants.
"I think we're going to be able to find a top-quality candidate who is good," board member Mandy Lowell said. "The toughest thing is going to be choosing among high-quality candidates and then introducing them to our real-estate market."
The board reviewed about a dozen resumes from across the country and invited four candidates to have in-person interviews April 28 and 29. The four interviewees will be paying for their trip to Palo Alto to meet the board. Leadership Associates expects to have a new superintendent before July 1.
The "robust" pool applicants were candidates not on the market who would only consider leaving their current jobs for the superintendent job in Palo Alto, Lowell added.
"The good news is that the applicant pool is very, very strong," she said, a sentiment echoed by other board members.
"I have every confidence in the search process we are following as well as in the search firm we are using," board member Dana Tom said.
After the next interview Tom expects that the board will narrow down the pool of candidates.
Rene Townsend, partner at Leadership Associates, said that the board was very thoughtful and expressed exactly what they wanted in the new superintendent.
"Someone who was experienced and thoughtful," she said, describing the qualities the board is looking for in a superintendent. "Is a collaborator, works with people from a whole range of perspectives in the community and staff, can bring people together and bring people to be excited about a vision and a goal."
All the candidates who will come to Palo Alto for the interview fit the description, she said.