Executive Searches

NESDEC has been assisting school districts with executive searching since 1982.  We offer four levels of executive search.

Comprehensive Search: Covers active recruiting and all essential tasks involved in a search; includes the search services most often requested by school boards/ committees.  Comprehensive Search Services include:

  • an experienced search consultant
  • timeline development
  • advertising campaign planning
  • active recruitment through NESDEC’s exclusive regional and national network
  • community needs assessment
  • assistance in screening applications
  • assistance with initial interviews and finalists
  • management of all search details
  • ongoing communication with board/committee
  • entry planning

Guided Search: Includes access to an experienced search consultant and a choice of district-selected search components to complement your district’s search activities.

Search Outreach: Enhance the district's own search activities by publicizing the executive vacancy through NESDEC's exclusive regional and national networks; a good option for small districts and also for building-level administrative openings.

Strategic Leadership Search: A custom-designed search which includes all the services in a Comprehensive Search plus:

  • a team of experienced executive search consultants
  • extensive nation-wide recruitment
  • options such as:
    • development of strategic targets for use in subsequent superintendent/board/committee planning
    • expanded national print media advertising campaign
    • internet promotion
    • polychromatic, booklet-style brochure
    • promotional CD or DVD
    • expanded on-site needs assessment including focus groups with an electronic participation component, personal/electronic stakeholder interviews, web conferencing opportunity, community forum, internet survey
    • intensive personal interviewing

Why Choose NESDEC?

  • NESDEC has been assisting school boards with executive searches for over 30 years.
  • We have completed well over 500 searches, more than any other individual or search firm in New England.
  • We are a regional organization with strategic linkages to national organizations.
  • Headquartered in New England since 1946, NESDEC has gained a deep understanding of the advantages, challenges, and cultural demands associated with being an educational leader in the region.
  • We value a district's affiliation, and so we are highly motivated to do the best search possible.

Service Enhancement:

  • We were the first organization to use focus groups in our community needs assessment process.
  • As part of our community needs assessment process, we conduct interviews of selected stakeholders, if requested.
  • We have an active recruitment component to respond to the ongoing applicant shortage.
  • We use online resources to reach candidates and to have them learn more about your district.
  • We use email, social media, and print mailings and advertisings to announce vacancies and provide information.
  • We conduct invitational workshops to interest practicing educators in becoming superintendents of schools.
  • We provide an Entry Workshop for the new superintendent.
  • We offer a fee-based retreat with the new superintendent and school board to begin building a collaborative relationship. Our workshop is based on our published reports, "Getting There from Here: Creating a School Governance Team Capable of Raising Student Achievement", "Thinking Differently: 21st Century School Board/Leadership, Governance, and Teamwork for High Student Achievement" and "Improved Leadership for Improved Achievement."


NESDEC has search staff that includes former superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and school committee/board members, so they have held the very positions for which they are searching.

CONTACT NESDEC: For more information about our services or for a cost proposal, please contact the NESDEC office at 508.481.9444 or nesdec@nesdec.org.

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