The unanimously approved the hiring of a new district superintendent at its meeting Thursday.
James Wigo, who is the current assistant superintendent of Upper Darby School District, was approved by the board after an extensive, five-month superintendent search.
Wigo will officially become superintendent as of July 1.
Current Rose Tree Media School District Superintendent Dr. Denise Kerr announced her retirement in December 2010 and will be effective June 30.
The superintendent search was conducted by the Chester County Intermediate Unit, led by Dr. Joe O’Brien, who also has children in the district.
Wigo, who has 37 years of education experience, addressed the board and public after his hiring was approved.
He thanked everyone who was involved with the process and said he will live up to the expectations of the board, students, teachers and administration.
He explained that his first priority is the children and if for some reason down the road, that doesn’t seem to be the case, give him a "strong nudge" because he is here as an "advocate for the children."
"The children will know me and I will know them," Wigo said.
Wigo said he will work with Kerr in creating a smooth administration transition.
O’Brien, who has conducted many superintendent searches, explained the process of which how the board came to decide on hiring Wigo.
He said the board conducted focus groups among staff, teachers and administration as well as with parent groups and community members. He and the board logged about 140 hours of meeting time together, he said.
They created a leadership profile of what the Rose Tree Media School District needed and wanted in a superintendent and O’Brien searched for candidates.
He said they had internal candidates, sitting superintendent candidates and out-of-state candidates.
They had 35 applications, which they were able to cut to 24. That 24 was than cut to 12, who were interviewed and from there they had their top six, who were asked back for second interviews, O’Brien said. The six were narrowed down to three candidates and site visits were made and more background checks and interviews were conducted.
O’Brien explained it needed to be a confidential search and they weren’t able to tell the public who the candidates were because they wanted to get the "best candidates" and some were sitting superintendents and it would not have been fair to the candidates to make that public.
O’Brien thanked the board and the community for all of their input and efforts.
"This was a great board to work with," he said. "They have a great sense of humor and face some difficult issues. The teacher and staff questions were great. The whole procedure was great."
O’Brien said of Wigo that when they conducted the site visit for him, it was evident that he was a key leader in the district and it would be a tremendous lose to the Upper Darby School District and wonderful gain for Rose Tree Media.
Several members of the board thanked O’Brien for his hard work and dedication to the process. They also welcomed Wigo and thanked Kerr for her years of serving as superintendent.