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CUSD chooses firm for new superintendent search

by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

The Claremont Unified School District got one step closer to choosing a new superintendent this week.

Its board of education voted to hire executive search firm Educational Support Services Group at its Thursday meeting.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company has been in business since 2000. Its fee will range from $19,750 to $24,500, “based on scope of work and level of involvement Board desires ESS advisers have in the process,” according to its proposal.

The board hopes to finalize a superintendent selection by May 1, and projected the new superintendent’s first day on the job would be July 1.

Interim Claremont Unified School District Superintendent Julie Olesniewicz replaced her former boss, Jim Elsasser, who resigned in December after heading up CUSD for nine years.

The district had some newfound stability under Mr. Elsasser. It had seen four superintendents come and go in the nine years prior to his arrival. He is now superintendent for the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

“I would just say I would like to see a superintendent in Claremont that takes the time to really know Claremont and understand Claremont and its uniqueness,” said Ms. Olesniewicz. “That was something that Jim did when he came.”

Interim superintendent Olesniewicz added she hoped E.S.S. would actively solicit input from the community members, parents and district staff during its search.

“I think it’s about process and transparency, because part of a search is really reaching out to stakeholders,” she said. “So they would be involved in that.”

The potential superintendent candidate could come from in-house or from outside the district, Ms. Olesniewicz said. “I’m pretty sure at least the last four were from out of house. But it could go deeper than that.”

Ms. Olesniewicz said she was considering applying for the job. “I’m thinking about it,” she said.

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