The McKinney ISD board of trustees discussed what it would like to see in the search process for the district’s next superintendent during a special meeting Dec. 6.

MISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel announced Dec. 2 his intention to retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year after almost eight years in the position. McDaniel’s education career spans more than 35 years.

Board President Amy Dankel said she recommended that to be the most fair to all candidates, each of the board members should be present during the interviews, and to check their individual calendars and to let her know if there are any dates in the spring where they would not be able to conduct an interview.

Board Member Philip Hassler noted this was his first time to go through the process of finding a new superintendent and said he wanted to make sure the process was as “transparent and communicative” as possible.

“[I want to] ensure that we have ... a site dedicated specifically on our webpage to make sure the public knows about what's going on. And secondly, that we're getting community input and feedback,” Hassler said.

Hassler said he would like to see a new superintendent in place by April. To that end, he said that he would like to see the board discuss at its Dec. 13 meeting a third-party search system to assist with finding the best candidate for the position.

“I know in previous searches we have had a third party and they have helped in terms of organization,” he said. “Each one of us have responsibilities outside of the board, so we’re not able to manage it in a way that would maybe be as effective as opposed to partnering with a third party.”

Board members in attendance at the meeting agreed with the idea of bringing in a search firm. Dankel also suggested creating focus groups in which each board member would ask parents, community members and staff if they would be interested in being part of these small groups.

“It's not like they interview or even sit in on interviews or even see a list of people we're interviewing,” Dankel said. “The idea is that they would give input in a small group setting on characteristics that we as board members individually feel are necessary in our next leader.”

Board Member Chad Green added that town halls would be helpful as well to get public feedback. Hassler added digital surveys would assist with feedback for those who would be unable to attend in person.

No action was taken in regard to the search process. Dankel said an interim superintendent would only be named if a new superintendent was not in place by the time McDaniel’s contract expired and he retired.