Superintendent Search Process
On Friday, June 29th, 2012 the School Reform Commission announced that Dr. William Hite would be the next superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. Read Dr. Hite’s full bio below, and learn more about the superintendent search process by clicking here.
Dr. William R. Hite, Jr.
Superintendent, Prince George’s Public County Schools, MD
Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. was named superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) on April 3, 2009. PGCPS is Maryland’s second largest school system, and the eighteenth largest in the nation with 135,000 students, 200 schools, and a budget of $1.6 billion. Hite had served as interim superintendent since December 2008 and as the deputy superintendent since June 2006. He has led major efforts resulting in increased student achievement, significant improvements in teaching and learning, and school improvement status. This included work on the Intensive Support and Intervention Schools (ISIS) that provided significant support to schools most in need based on student and school performance indicators, as well as work in partnership with the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, which focused on improving the capacity of teachers and administrators to strengthen the teaching and learning process. Most recently, he oversaw a major reorganization of the district’s regions into zones to reduce cost and provide greater support to schools, and developed systems that measure central leadership effectiveness against student and school performance. Before joining PGCPS, Hite served as area assistant superintendent for the Cobb County School District in Atlanta. In this role, he supervised 15 high school, middle school and elementary school principals and was responsible for the instructional program for more than 18,000 students. Hite has also served as director of middle school instruction for the Henrico County Public School System in Richmond, VA, and was an urban middle and high school principal. Hite holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in educational leadership from Virginia Tech.
The superintendent search process was kicked-off in January of 2012. An outline of the process since then can be found below:
- Search team formed by the School Reform Commission (SRC). Members included Sylvia Simms of Parents Power, Fred Ginyard of Youth United for Change, Robert Wonderling of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, Lori Shorr, City’s Chief Education Officer, Edward Williams, SRC Executive Advisor, Kenneth Kring, pro bono consultant with Korn/Ferry International and members of the SRC.
- Released initial criteria for the superintendent position and distribute it for public comment and input.
- The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Project for Civic Engagement conducted 16 community engagement forums to gather public input to help shape the initial criteria released by the SRC. The forums were held throughout the City and were attended by over 550 people.
- The Project for Civic Engagement and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania published a formal report which summarized the participants’ feedback. The report described a process that was “open and transparent” which “included a broad range of stakeholders from across the city” who were involved in “meaningful deliberations.”
- The SRC and the Superintendent Search Team, in response to community input, significantly revised the superintendent job description and added new members to the Superintendent Search Team. On March 12, the search team released the final job description.
- The following new members joined the search team: Rev. Albert Campbell, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Patricia DeCarlo, Norris Square Civic Association, and Len Rieser, Education Law Center.
- The search team received over 100 applications and nominations that and started the review process.
- After several meetings the search team narrowed down the candidates to a list of about 15 candidates. In May the search team interviewed 11 of the candidates. Five of the eleven candidates were originally from Philadelphia.
- The search team narrowed down its selection to 4 candidates and presented its recommendation to the SRC.
- The SRC interviewed the recommended candidates and conducted further review. On June 22, the SRC selected two finalists.
- On June 25, the SRC convened students, teachers, principals, assistant principals, faith-based leaders, parent groups, charter school operators, elected officials and business leaders groups to meet with Pedro Martinez.
- On June 26, the SRC convened students, teachers, principals, assistant principals, faith-based leaders, parent groups, charter school operators, elected officials and business leaders groups to meet with Dr. William Hite.
- The meetings with Pedro Martinez, and Dr. William Hite were aired on PSTV, and streamed live online. At the end of each public session on June 25, and 26th, attendees were invited to complete feedback forms. The SRC reviewed the evaluation forms and took the public’s input into consideration as they made a final selection.
- On Friday, June 29th, 2012 the School Reform Commission announced that Dr. William Hite would be the next superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia.