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Nearly 700 Participate in Superintendent Search ThoughtExchange

Posted on December 17, 2021

Community members, staff, parents and students shared 977 thoughts about the most important characteristics, skills, leadership qualities and experiences for the next superintendent of the Issaquah School District. The ThoughtExchange was open from Nov. 23 to Dec. 7 and had 683 participants.

Of those who participated, 373 shared thoughts, 491 rated thoughts and 461 explored thoughts that had been shared. More than 30,000 ratings contributed to the final report.

The top five thoughts include:

  • "Able to put students first." Ranked first, with a rating of 4.5 stars.
  • "Strategic in looking (a)round the corner and planning ahead to meet future needs of staff and students. We have been reactionary in the past and that left us scrambling and behind the times." Ranked second, with a rating of 4.5 stars.
  • "Forward thinker and planner. Must have the ability to think long-term and plan for a variety of circumstances." Ranked third, with a rating of 4.4 stars.
  • "We need to conduct an outside search. We need someone with fresh ideas and vision who can objectively analyze the strengths and weaknesses of our district." Ranked fourth, with a rating of 4.4 stars.
  • "Accountable. The leadership needs to own their decisions, good and bad." Ranked fifth, with a rating of 4.4 stars.

Note: Under the ThoughtExchange system, the next six thoughts are also rated 4.4 stars, with a similar number of "votes." Those who are interested may review all of the thoughts, along with the full overview and report from ThoughtExchange here.

Superintendent Ron Thiele announced in November that he will retire at the end of this school year.

The final ThoughtExchange report was shared with the School Board. At their Dec. 9 meeting, Board members voted 5-0 to direct Thiele to enter into a contract with McPherson and Jacobson, a recruitment firm out of Nebraska, to help lead the search.