The school board will hire the same search firm it used in its previous superintendent search, it decided at its meeting Thursday night.
Leadership Associates offered one of the most competitive bids: it will charge the district $11,000 for its services, half off its usual rate.
Board President Maurice Goodman said most other search firms he contacted gave quotes of well over $20,000.
Trustee Shirley Hoch and Board Vice President Judy Bush initially said they would prefer to go with one of the firms with the higher bid.
“If [Leadership Associates] brought us the product we had last time, I don’t think it’s a suitable firm to work with,” Hoch said. “If you want to go out [of the district], let’s do it right.”
“I am very disappointed with what happened with Leadership Associates and the candidate we selected last time,” Bush said.
But Board Clerk Philip Weise said that Leadership Associates wasn’t solely responsible for problems the board had with previous Superintendent Howard Cohen.
“With our prior superintendent, he did meet the requirements we were looking for. He did implement all the programs we were looking for,” Weise said, adding that the entire board had voted to hire him. “Leadership Associates feels like they owe us something and wants to make up for it.”
In addition to the other search firms, a parent offered the services of their executive search firm, Alinea Group, pro bono. The board decided not to go with Alinea because it doesn’t have experience with superintendent searches.
In the end, cost considerations won, and the board voted four to zero to hire Leadership Associates, with Hoch abstaining.
Note: An earlier version of this story erroneously referred to Judy Bush as the board president. She is the board vice president.