Santa Barbara School District stakeholders are looking for a new superintendent with a clear vision and the skills to work on the district’s challenges in organization, communication and instruction, according to interviews and surveys conducted by a search firm.

Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates has developed a leadership profile from the community’s input and will start screening applicants in May.

“We are not going to have a problem recruiting top-quality candidates to come here,” HYA consultant Rudy Castruita said.

Superintendent Brian Sarvis will retire in June.

Overall, people said the candidate’s vision and values were the most important, and that the new superintendent would have to work on accountability, improving student achievement and bringing a focus and organizational structures to the decentralized leadership.

Members of the Latino community said they didn’t feel engaged and that the district didn’t make enough of an effort to include or reach out to Spanish-speaking parents.

The Santa Barbara school board will compile its own list of criteria it’s looking for in a new hire, including the ability to implement reforms, build relationships, develop a strategic plan, and balance vision and management to work with all stakeholders. It said a bilingual candidate would be a great asset as well.

Click here for the entire leadership profile report compiled from constituent interviews and survey results.

The consensus on desired characteristics described someone accessible, who can build trust and relationships with stakeholders, has a clear vision and provides leadership toward achieving that mission, communicates well and seeks engagement from the community, is culturally sensitive and possibly bilingual or bicultural, can manage a complex agency and will reach out to under-represented groups.

Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates is already actively recruiting, consultant Carolyn McKennan said, and will bring 10 to 15 candidates to the school board for initial interviews in the middle of May. After rounds of interviews, background checks and site visits, the board will narrow the field and eventually choose a candidate.

The interview process is kept confidential until a candidate is offered the job, which HYA and other search firms insisted was necessary to get the best pool of applicants.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.