Superintendent Search

  • Overview

    In September 2020, Superintendent Sean Doherty announced his intention to retire from the School District of Clayton at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Read Dr. Doherty’s letter to the community. Following his announcement, the Board of Education committed to conducting a national search for Clayton's next superintendent. After interviewing multiple search firms, the Board has retained the services of McPherson & Jacobson, a search firm that has been conducting national searches for boards of education since 1991. 

    The Search Process

    The search for Clayton’s next superintendent will be structured to allow for heavy community involvement in the early stages of the search. McPherson & Jacobson has designed a five-phase protocol allowing the board to concentrate on the most important segments: the interview and selection of the successful candidate. Their team of consultants, working in conjunction with the board and stakeholder groups identified by the District, will implement a systematic, comprehensive process culminating in the hiring of the most qualified candidate. The search process will use virtual stakeholder meetings and online surveys (The surveys will be available to anyone in the community.) to gather information about what the Clayton community is looking for in its next superintendent. The process will begin with several days of virtual meetings with students, parents, staff and community members in mid-November. 

    McPherson & Jacobson will be conducting a closed search, which means that the names of applicants and finalists will remain confidential throughout the search process. A closed process is routinely used in school districts across the country to fill high-profile superintendent positions. The confidentiality maintained in the process allows a search firm to encourage and recruit candidates who might not have applied if their interest was made public. 

    Important Dates

    • Sept. 11, 2020 - Dr. Sean Doherty Announces Retirement
    • Oct. 14, 2020 - BOE Hires McPherson & Jacobson to Conduct National Search
    • Oct. 29, 2020 - Application Period Opens
    • Nov. 17/18, 2020 - Stakeholder Input Meetings; Community Survey Launches
    • Nov. 24, 2020 - Stakeholder Survey Closes
    • Dec. 3, 2020 - Application Period Closes
    • Dec. 2020 - McPherson & Jacobson Vetting of Candidates
    • Jan. 6, 2021 - Candidates Presented to BOE; Finalists Selected (closed meeting)
    • January 11-14, 2021 - Finalist Interviews
    • Jan. 20, 2021 - Dr. Nisha Patel Selected as Clayton's Next Superintendent

    Helpful Information