The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees voted Jan. 4 to select JG Consulting as the third-party firm to assist in the search for a new superintendent. The superintendent search was spurred by the departure of former superintendent Todd Washburn in October. Brett Springston has served as interim superintendent since Washburn's exit.

Austin-based JG Consulting is a new partner for DSISD, which used the Texas Association of School Boards' Executive Search Services in the 2019 search that ended in the selection of Washburn. JG Consulting's bid to lead the executive search won out over that of Walsh Gallegos, a firm that currently contracts to offer the DSISD board of trustees legal counsel. While trustees expected a similar price point from both firms and said they were impressed with presentations by both, they voted in favor of JG Consulting's "data-driven" approach and experience using virtual platforms to aid in the interview process.

Previously, JG Consulting has handled over 100 executive searches, including searches for Austin ISD, El Paso ISD, Hutto ISD and more districts in Texas and other states. DSISD trustees Carrie Kroll and Mary Jane Hetrick cited recommendations from board members at Austin ISD and Victoria ISD praising their experience with the firm.

"We know from recent memory just how stressful the process is, so for somebody to have nothing but great things to say about a search firm was striking to me," Hetrick said.

According to the timeline presented by James Guerra, president and CEO of JG Consulting, the district will work with JG Consulting to accept applications by February. The board will begin interviewing candidates in late March, with the goal of naming a lone finalist for the position sometime in April. Interviews and candidate profiles will be private and conducted in executive session to protect the identity of applicants, who may be employed at other districts.

"Our goal and our objective is to bring you so many qualified candidates that you're going to say at the end of the interviews, 'Wow . . . I don't know how to shortlist these individuals because they're all good,'" Guerra said.

Documents provided by JG Consulting quote $20,000 as the cost of the firm's services to the district, plus possible travel and expenses for candidates who interview in person.