Request for Proposals for Superintendent Search Services

Released: August 13, 2019


Muscatine Community School District is requesting proposals from qualified firms to provide Executive Search Consultant Services for the position of Superintendent of the District beginning July, 1, 2020. Firms interested in undertaking this assignment must forward an electronic detailed proposal to be received no later than 4 p.m.  on September 4, 2019 to:

Lisa Bunn, Board Secretary

The Board will tentatively select firms to be included in an interview process by September 15, 2019.  Any questions concerning the proposal or process should be directed to Lisa Bunn at the email address listed above.  Ms. Bunn’s office phone number is 563-263-7223.

Scope of Services

The responsibility of the selected firm will include the following:

  1. Provide advice and assistance to the Board in the overall search, including the interview process.
  2. Assist the Board in conducting a nationwide search that generates a diversified pool of qualified candidates.
  3. Recommend a search process that includes input from all stakeholder groups: teachers, administrators, parents, students, Board of Education, and community members.
  4. Develop a candidate profile and job description with significant input from the Board of Education and the Muscatine Community School community.
  5. Assist the Board in developing an appropriate compensation package.
  6. Advertise nationally and statewide. Identify and solicit applications from superior candidates nationally.
  7. Communicate with and manage candidates’ expectations, coordinate and facilitate the interview process.
  8. Evaluate and rank qualified applicants in accordance with the criteria developed.
  9. Conduct reference and background checks on all interviewees, as required, including extensive reference checks on the three to six finalists.
  10. As requested, prepare reports and recommendations to the Board, including information on the candidate pool.
  11. Assist the Board in developing a transition plan.
  12. Perform other related services in the conduct of the search, as needed.

Submission Guidelines

Each proposal must include at least the following information:

  1. A summary of the firm’s experience in conducting Pre-K-12 superintendent searches.
  2. A list of recent assignments in education including the names of client institutions and the titles of positions for which a search was conducted.
  3. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three individuals that may be contacted to comment on the firm’s performance in recent searches.
  4. Evidence of commitment to, and successful experience in, recruiting outstanding candidates from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  5. The name of each staff member who will be assigned to this search, a brief summary of his/her relevant credentials and experience, and an indication of the proposed time commitment to this project. Please identify the lead staff person who will be assigned to this contract for the duration of the search process and provide contact information.
  6. Services your firm utilizes to assist school districts in identifying qualified candidates.
  7. Description of the unique experience provided by your firm’s staff.
  8. Description of how the Board, administration, teachers, and interested community members could have meaningful input into the selection process.
  9. The proposed fee structure for this search.
  10. A statement regarding the three most important reasons your firm should be selected for this search.

Process/ Timeline

Based on its review of proposals received by September 4, 2019, the Board will invite a small number of selected firms to meet prior to October 1, 2019. A final determination/award will be made at the District’s Board meeting on October 14, 2019.

Key Dates for Firm Selection

  1. Requests distributed August 13, 2019.
  2. Vendor proposals due September 4, 2019.
  3. Interviews by the Board prior to October 1, 2019.
  4. Vendor selection October 14, 2019.

This solicitation shall not be construed in any manner to be an obligation by the district to enter into an agreement with any vendor. The Board reserves the right to reject any or all responses. The Board may negotiate the terms of the contract with the selected vendor prior to entering into a contract.

The Board reserves the right to revise any part of this request. If the Board cancels or revises this request, all respondents will be notified by addenda. The Board also reserves the right to extend the date responses are due.

The Board will not provide compensation to responders for any expenses incurred by responders for response preparation or for any demonstrations that may be made. Contractors submit responses at their own risk and expense.

General Information about the District


The district is in Muscatine County in Iowa and includes the city of Muscatine. Located thirty miles from the Quad Cities and Iowa City, the community has a stable population of 25,000.  The community has a significant industrial base. Companies in Muscatine include Bridgestone/Bandag, H.J. Heinz, Raymond Corporation, Carver Pump, Bayer, Kent Corporation, Musco Lighting, and Stanley Consultants and the HNI Corporation.

The district is governed by an elected seven-member board. The district student population, like much of Iowa, has shown a decline in enrollment. Current projected enrollment for the 2019-20 school year PK-12 is 5100.  The district has six elementary buildings, one early childhood center serving four-year-olds and special needs three-year-olds, and one high school with a projected enrollment of 1500 students in grades 9-12. Currently the district has two middle schools with a single combined middle school slated for the 2020-21 school year.

Over the past six years, the Muscatine Community School District has dramatically improved and upgraded district facilities which has led to a state-of-the-art learning environment for our students. School improvements have ranged from a new $10.5 million elementary school (Jefferson), construction of a $3.5 million multi-purpose building (weight room/basketball courts), a $4.5 million addition to one of our elementary schools (McKinley), a $9 million science/STEM addition at our high school, a $3 million furniture upgrade at all our elementary and middle schools, and $7.5 million in general upgrades across our buildings.

The $38 million in building upgrades to our facilities over the past six years has been accomplished by using district PPEL and sales tax funds. The district has avoided bonding and is a debt-free district during the transformation of our facilities.

District Goals and District Data

Linked to this document are the district’s goals and performance report. In addition, during the fall of 2019, a curriculum management firm will be conducting an extensive curriculum audit with a tentative report date prior to November 1, 2019. This will provide additional information useful in completing a superintendent profile.

Superintendent Position

The Superintendent is the chief executive for the District. The position has been held since July of 2013 by Jerald Riibe.  Dr. Riibe is retiring at the end of a 41-year career in June of 2020. The essential skills for this position would include: educational leadership skills for closing the achievement gap, the ability to interface with the Muscatine Community, and the leadership skills to maintain financial viability and sustainability.  

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