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Dr. Jim Browder to lead Anchorage School District as Superintendent


School board praises proven leadership, budget management, academic success

Citing his passion for education, proven financial leadership amid difficult economic circumstances and a track record of improving academic success in large, diverse settings, The Anchorage School Board today announced that Dr. Jim Browder will be the next superintendent of the Anchorage School District.

Dr. Browder is the former superintendent, serving seven years, of Lee County Public Schools, which serves nearly 82,000 students in southwestern Florida.

"Jim is a proven leader who has worked in a district larger than that of Anchorage, managed finances wisely through tough budget cuts and, most important, demonstrated the ability to deliver academic success," said board President Gretchen Guess. "He is absolutely aligned with this board's vision, core values, and commitments and is an outstanding selection."

Dr. Browder's selection follows a nationwide search and a methodical evaluation process to find a leader for the district, which serves nearly 49,000 students.

"This has been a thoughtful, deliberative process with every board member contributing an extraordinary amount of time, thought and effort," said Guess.

Dr. Browder will begin transitional visits to Anchorage starting in the February/March timeframe, with a full-time transition to take place after April 1. Current Superintendent Carol Comeau will remain in charge during the transition and with the district until her retirement on June 30.

Contract Well Below National Average
Under the terms of his contract, Dr. Browder will be paid $180,000, well below the national average of $239,000 for an urban superintendent according to the Council of the Great City Schools; Comeau is currently paid $165,000, the lowest in the nation for an urban district leader.

The term of Dr. Browder's contract is for three years, the maximum allowable under state law.

Guess said the board is committed to Browder's selection, and contract, and will vote on his contract at a special meeting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3 at the ASD Education Center. The meeting is open to the public.

Browder's Employment Agreement: http://www.asdk12.org/PR/DistrictNews/1112/Browder_contract.pdf (PDF)

Candidate selection process
September 2011
Community feedback on desired criteria of the new superintendent

October 2011
Job opening posted, board began accepting application

November 10, 2011
Application period closed. Board received more than 150 applications containing an excess of 1,600 pages.

November 11 - December 6, 2011
 - Board ranked applicants based on criteria
 - Following in-depth discussion, each board member selected their top seven candidates
 - Five candidates rose to the top - they included traditional and non-traditional, as well as in-state and out-of-state candidates.
 - Board conducted Skype video interviews with each of the five semi-finalists
 - Based on the interviews and applications, the board collectively felt two candidates were the most ready to lead the district

January 5-14, 2012
Each finalist participated in separate on-site visits. Visits included board interviews, school tours, community meet-and-greet, and media availability.

Mid-late January, 2012
Candidate selected, contract finalized

February 3, 2012
Board to vote on contract

February - July, 2012
Transition period

July 1, 2012
New superintendent leads ASD

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