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Georgia State Board of Education Announces “Core Competencies” for Chief Turnaround Officer

MEDIA CONTACT: Debbie Caputo, State Board of Education Administrative Assistant, dcaputo@doe.k12.ga.us, 404-657-7410

The Georgia State Board of Education has announced the “core competencies” they are looking for in their search for a chief turnaround officer (CTO). The board is currently interviewing for this new position, created by House Bill 338 during the last legislative session.

Working with the Education Turnaround Advisory Council, which includes representatives of many state education organizations and is chaired by Dr. Jimmy Stokes of the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, the state board identified priorities for the new turnaround officer:

  •    Technical leadership. The CTO needs an understanding of schools and school system complexity and an ability to see the big picture of school operations. The CTO should possess deep skills in data analysis, issue diagnosis, and program implementation.
  •     Human leadership. The board recognizes the critical role of interpersonal relationships. They are looking for a CTO who models empathy, integrity, and emotional intelligence.
  •    Educational leadership. The CTO needs experience working with students and supervising educators in multiple, diverse settings and across a wide range of levels. He or she also must display a deep understanding of research on effective school turnaround models and practices.
  •     Cultural leadership. The new CTO should be able to work collaboratively with stakeholders in local communities, school districts, and statewide; build teams and trust in order to make staff effective; and build a culture of innovation and risk-taking that moves beyond a compliance mind-set.
  • ​    Symbolic leadership. The board is seeking a CTO who can champion public education, convey the importance of the work and a sense of urgency in launching it, and who will actively solicit public engagement in the turnaround process.

The board received over 60 applications for the job. Mike Royal, chair of the State Board of Education, noted, “The applicant pool is deep, diverse, and includes a number of highly experienced educational leaders.”

After a first round of telephone interviews, the board will now conduct in-depth interviews with approximately ten candidates. Then a small group of finalists will come to Atlanta for in-person interviews with the State Board of Education and the Education Turnaround Advisory Council. Once the board has narrowed its selection to the top tier of candidates, their names will be released to the public.

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