Timeline for Omaha Public Schools superintendent search approved by board

The OPS Board approved a ten-month timeline for the search for its next superintendent Monday.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 10:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The next superintendent of Omaha Public Schools will be responsible for more than 50,000 students across 87 schools.

The outgoing superintendent, Dr. Cheryl Logan, will leave a major seat to be filled. Interim superintendent Matthew Ray will step up for the 2023-2024 school year as the search for the 2024-2025 superintendent is underway.

Monday night, the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education approved a 10-month timeline to search for its next superintendent. For context, the search in 2017 for Logan took about a year.

The school board hopes to find a permanent replacement by February of next year.

More than half of the timeline will be taken to build a profile of who that person will be.

“We of course welcome feedback, thoughts, and ideas at any time. Students, staff, families, and the community will also have opportunities in May and September to complete a survey about district strengths, opportunities, and the ideal qualifications of a superintendent,” said Vice President Ricky Smith.

A concern raised by board members Jane Erdenberger and Bri Full is that those not on the accountability committee working closely with the search firm don’t know what is on that survey. With the approval of the timeline, the survey will be sent out next week.

They also expressed dissatisfaction with the timeline and board input being formally recognized five months into the process.

“Why September? That feels so far out to me.” said board member Bri Full.

“I’m very surprised that the input from the Board of Education is being put off until September,” said board member Jane Erdenberger.

Smith said by that time, the survey could be completed and analyzed for the board.

6 News asked some OPS students what they think a superintendent does. Even though some students don’t know exactly what the role entails, they said they knew some qualities that would make a good superintendent.

“Decisive, great leadership, patient,” said Central senior Jermai Kang.

“You have to be a good leader to command an organization as large as OPS,” said junior Charlie Yale. “I think prioritizing students and teachers always.”

According to the approved timeline, by October, the firm tasked with finding the new superintendent should have a picture of the ideal candidate Then it’ll take applications until January of next year.

By February, public interviews will be held for finalists and an announcement of the next superintendent will follow shortly after.