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Cincinnati School Board Selects Superintendent Search Firm

December 19, 2016

The Cincinnati Board of Education today announced it has selected Ray and Associates, Inc., an educational executive search firm based in Cedar Rapids, IA, to guide the selection of the next superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools.

Ray and Associates was among four search firm candidates to apply for the role through a Request for Proposals process.

Board members said the firm was selected because of its extensive successful experience over more than 40 years in recruiting high quality and diverse educational executives for large urban school districts and state education departments across the nation.  In Ohio, Ray and Associates has facilitated executive searches for the Ohio Department of Education, Columbus City Schools, Shaker Heights Schools and Lorain City Schools. Nationally, the firm has conducted searches for the Anchorage (AK) School District, Austin (TX) Independent School District, the School District of Palm Beach County (FL) and Baltimore City Public Schools (MD).

“We are pleased to be able to work with a firm of such high caliber in our search for excellent superintendent candidates,” said Ericka Copeland-Dansby, president of the school board. “The search will include both internal and external candidates as well as extensive grassroots community engagement to ensure that our next leader is a good fit with our many district stakeholders.” The Board also believes that it is important that the new superintendent is committed to building upon the progress the district is achieving through My Tomorrow, a college and career readiness initiative, and its Vision 2020 multi-year plan to strengthen neighborhood schools, she said.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan on November 17 announced she will retire on August 1, 2017, after nine successful years as the chief administrator of Southwest Ohio's largest public school system.

The selection of Ray and Associates meets the board’s goal of choosing a search firm by mid-December. A suggested timeline submitted by Ray and Associates calls for work to begin in early January, with interviews of finalists to be completed in April 2017.

Services sought by the school board to be performed by the search firm in cooperation with the Board include:

  • Providing a candidate profile and evaluation/selection criteria for the superintendent candidates
  • Developing a plan for and facilitating grassroots community input and engagement
  • Developing and implementing a candidate marketing and recruitment plan
  • Conducting an internal and national search process generating a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates
  • Conducting a thorough screening of candidates for qualifications and conducting a comprehensive background search
  • Developing interview questions, conducting interviews and negotiating contract terms


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