Written by Stephen Fielder
Irving ISD has given Griggs and Associates, a group that specializes in assisting school districts find a new superintendent, the task of gathering citizen input in the process of choosing Irving ISD's next chief administrator. Monday, September 16, Dr. Debbie Tribble convened an open forum in the cafeteria at Nimitz High School to gather views on what sort of person the next superintendent should be. With only seven residents in attendance, the gathering was small. Nevertheless, for nearly an hour, they provided a focused and passionate vision of the kind of leader they want for the district.
Dr. Tribble, a former assistant superintendent at Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, opened the meeting with three questions. (1) Do you want someone with a doctorate? (2) Do you want someone who is currently a superintendent, or could this person be an assistant or deputy superintendent? (3) Would you accept someone from a smaller school district, or do you believe they should have large school district experience? (Irving ISD has roughly 34,000 students.)
Regarding the question of whether the candidate should be required to have a doctorate, the responses were mixed. Some felt that prior success and experience could meet the requirement. To the question of whether the candidate should already be a superintendent rather than an assistant superintendent or deputy superintendent, the response was also mixed. When asked if a person from a smaller district would be acceptable, the answer seemed to clearly be that it might be acceptable if the difference in size was not too great.
Evelyn Sample, who recently retired after working in the district for 33 years, expressed her concern about a new superintendent who did not have experience in a large district.
“If they come without that exposure, they don’t know how to deal with it when they first get here. If you start out behind the game, then you have a hard time catching up. They need to have something pretty close in proximity to what they would be coming to.”