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    Advisor hired to assist Albany’s superintendent search

    By Linjun Fan

    Albany Unified School District Board voted Tuesday to hire a senior educator as its advisor for recruiting a new superintendent.

    Rudy Gatti, a retired veteran school administrator who helped Albany get its current superintendent William Wong five years ago, will come back to assist the board to select a successor to retiring Wong.

    “None of the current board members has been in the position of hiring a superintendent before, so he will give us good professional advice, ” said Charles Blanchard, vice president of the board.

    Gatti worked as superintendent of Santa Clara Unified School District for more than a decade and has successfully advised a number of California school districts on superintendent hiring since his retirement in late ’80s.

    Gatti and his associates will contact potential candidates, evaluate their applications, conduct initial interviews and provide other assistance to the board in the following months.

    Four board members voted for the decision at Tuesday’s meeting, while Board President Miriam Walden was absent due to illness. Walden was against the idea of hiring an advisor at a previous board meeting, preferring Superintendent Wong to facilitate the recruitment instead.

    The board also voted on an application deadline of Feb. 13, with the first round of interviews starting in early March.

    Wong wrote a brochure listing a dozen qualifications the district is looking for from the candidates, including experience in school finance and law, and accessibility to the community.

    Blanchard echoed the emphasis on community engagement.

    “I think we’ll need to look for a superintendent who is comfortable working in a small town where people know each other and where they expect to be involved in their schools, ” he said.

    The board will decide on how to convene an advisory committee among community members after meeting with Gatti in mid-December.

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