Superintendent search to include focus groups on Sept. 17-18

The Ridgefield Public Schools' Board of Education has begun the process of finding a new Superintendent of Schools, and has selected Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S.) to conduct the search.

Board of Education Chair Frances Walton is leading the search committee, which is comprised of school board members.

The new superintendent will replace Dr. JeanAnn Paddyfote, who was appointed interim superintendent after Dr. Karen Baldwin resigned in the spring. The successful candidate is expected to be chosen in January following a series of interviews with candidates and begin work March 1, 2019.

C.E.S. has already reached out to thousands of current superintendents in the Northeast and across the country as part of the recruitment process, in addition to posting the job opening on a number of education-related websites.

On Sept. 17-18, the C.E.S. Executive Searches team will hold Focus Group meetings to identify desirable leadership characteristics in the next superintendent. The focus group sessions will be held with parents, school staff, town boards, and Ridgefield residents.

The schedule for the focus groups on Monday, Sept. 17:

8:30-9:30 a.m.: Town officials

9:30-10:30 a.m.: Parents

11 a.m.-noon: High school students

1-2 p.m.: Building administrators

2:30-3:30 p.m.: High school faculty and staff

4-5 p.m.: Elementary and middle school faculty and staff

6-7 p.m.: Parents and community

The schedule for the focus groups on Tuesday, Sept. 18:

9-10 a.m.: Central Office administrators

10-11 a.m.: Central Office staff

The high school students will meet at Ridgefield High School. All other groups will meet in the Board of Education Conference Room in Town Hall (first floor of Town Annex at 66 Prospect St.)

An online survey will be open to Ridgefield residents and school staff, accessible Sept. 10-21 at The school district’s website will also feature a Superintendent Search page for updates throughout the search process.

Facilitating the search for C.E.S. will be Tom Jokubaitis and Jim Ritchie. Both have distinguished careers in Connecticut schools that include time as superintendents, principals and consultants. Their background and knowledge of outstanding educational practices ensures the best candidates are found following a comprehensive C.E.S. search with a proven track record.

C.E.S. is a Trumbull-based organization that provides support and services to school districts and communities in Fairfield County, in addition to operating two magnet schools. Its Executive Searches division has located qualified candidates to fill superintendent, principal and other school administrative positions for districts and schools throughout Connecticut.