With two other Tri-Valley school districts searching for a superintendent this spring, questions have been raised about whether those departures will affect Pleasanton school district's search for a new schools leader.
San Ramon Valley Unified superintendent Mary Shelton announced her retirement last week after four years as superintendent, and Dublin school superintendent Steven Hanke announced his retirement last month. Both will step down at the end of this school year.
The Pleasanton district is deep into its search for a new school leader after former superintendent Parvin Ahmadi resigned in May to take a job as Castro Valley's superintendent. Former Amador Valley principal Jim Hansen has been interim superintendent since last summer, and his contract runs until June.
Pleasanton Unified is paying search firm McPherson & Jacobson $24,000 to recruit and vet candidates for the role, and a superintendent is expected to be chosen by mid-April, search firm consultant Don Helms said.
Since Pleasanton is well into its search -- applications close March 7 -- Helms said there shouldn't be an issue with competing with neighboring districts for high-quality candidates, even though San Ramon Valley and Dublin school districts are similar in size and achievement to Pleasanton.
"They're running considerably behind where we are," he said.
Tom Jacobson, owner of the search firm, said it's not unusual to have superintendent searches happening simultaneously at neighboring districts, but he isn't concerned about competition.
In a way, he said, the districts aren't even competing with one another because each district has different aspects to consider when selecting candidates.
"The different issues in the district will attract different candidates," he said. "Even though they look similarly demographically, each district is unique. Each district has its own challenges and opportunities."
ThePleasanton school board will be keeping an eye on the other districts' searches as they progress, including those outside of the Tri-Valley. Newark Unified's superintendent also announced his retirement in December.
"Each District has its unique qualities and we will all be looking for the best fit for our respective districts," board president Jamie Hintzke said.