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Survey Results: What Lakota Residents Want in Their Next Superintendent

Survey Results: What Lakota Residents Want in Their Next Superintendent

The Lakota Board of Education put a call for feedback out to the community regarding its search for the district’s next superintendent. Through the district’s online surveying tool, ThoughtExchange, the community was asked to share what qualities and characteristics the Board should consider when hiring Lakota’s new leader. 

Over 900 people participated in the exchange, sharing nearly 700 thoughts. After sharing thoughts, participants were asked to use a five-star rating system to note how strongly they agree with other responses. They were also encouraged to visit the survey several times to rate new thoughts, or share additional ones, before it closed on March 1. Engagement in the survey proved to be very high, with participants rating an average of 33 responses each. “I appreciate our community’s willingness to provide feedback to the Board,” said President Julie Shaffer. “The survey results have been shared with our search firm and will be compared to the feedback we received last spring.”

In April 2023, the Board launched a community-wide survey asking for input when it began its superintendent search. That search ultimately resulted in the hiring of Interim Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli for one year. Her contract ends on July 31. “We hope to have a new superintendent in place this spring, prior to the end of the school year,” said Shaffer. “This way, there will be some overlap prior to Dr. Lolli’s retirement to help ensure a smooth transition.”

Survey Results

Overall, the ThoughtExchange showed that participants would like to see a superintendent who prioritizes integrity, fiscal responsibility and a focus on core educational subjects. The responses also emphasized support for student mental health supports, evidence-based teaching and learning practices in schools, as well as a focus on student achievement and teacher retention.

Top themes emerging from the responses include: employee well being; efforts to unify the district, competency, strong leadership skills and student achievement. 

Next Steps

At the Feb. 24, 2024 board meeting, the members approved a contract hiring Finding Leaders to conduct a nationwide search for Lakota’s next superintendent. The Board will continue to keep the community updated on the search process as it continues.

The results of the ThoughtExchange survey are available online.

  • thought exchange