The Hayward Unified board decided to go with Fairfield-based The Cosca Group to conduct the search for a new superintendent. TCG submitted an estimate of $23,200 for the search, which was considerably lower than the $31,100 price quoted by Ray & Associates, which led the previous aborted search.
Trustee Luis Reynoso didn’t agree with the selection, and said he believed Ray & Associates could have picked up where they left off. Invoices show the district was billed $26,393 by R&A when the search was called off in May.
“I’m kind of disappointed,” Reynoso said. “We’re not making decisions based on good business practices.”
However, Kathryn Benson, HUSD director of human resources, said the search would have been started anew even if R&A was selected.
“Because of the length of time passed, the candidates and district information that were included in last year’s Superintendent search are no longer applicable,” Benson wrote in an e-mail. “The search firm would need to start from the beginning to attract and recruit new candidates, collaborate with the newly configured Board of Education to determine their preferences for a Superintendent candidate, and become familiar with the changing district demographics, educational ratings, and fiscal challenges. The proposal submitted by R & A reflected that task. Their proposal outlined a new search (not a continuing effort) and was considered by the Board of Education along with two other firms.”
Board President Lisa Brunner said they felt TCG was a wise pick for a number of reasons.
“The TCG proposal was better, and covered more of the advertising costs,” she said. “And their background is strictly academic, and they’re local. They really seemed positive in what they are doing.”
Brunner said they hope to have a new superintendent selected by May to make for a smooth transition. Superintendent Janis Duran’s retirement is effective June 30.