next athletic director's priorities should include addressing facility and equality issues, and improving participation and school pride, community members said tonight.
The new director also should have strong organizational and communication skills, and athletic director experience at a school comparable to Sharon High, they said during a community forum in the high school library.
"I think the ideal candidate isn't learning on the job," one man said.
About 50 people attended the forum, part of the athletic director search, Principal Jose Libano said.
The audience fielded five questions about their preferences for the athletic director's professional and personal traits.
The feedback will be posted on the high school website, said. School officials also are welcoming additional comments.
Job ads will start running Sunday.
Athletic Director Robert Sondheim will retire this summer, ending 11 years in the post. He was the Eagles' swimming coach for five-and-a-half years under his predecessor, Richard Corbin, who served from 1995 to 2001.
Brand outlined the search process, which includes finalizing the search committee on Jan. 23. March 9 is the tentative date for selecting the finalist, according to the timeline on the high school's website.
The audience of parents, community members, Sharon High coaches and staff fielded five questions tonight toward helping establish "what it is that we're looking for in an athletic director," Brand said. Brand recorded the feedback as people offered it.
School officials asked them to identify the current athletic program's strengths.
said the variety of sports and the program being well established are strengths. noted the high school has 26 varsity sports with more than 550 students participating. added that the high school fields a number of freshman and junior varsity teams as well. And one woman said Sharon has developmental teams throughout town.
The next athletic director's opportunities include expanding participation, varsity football and varsity wrestling assistant coach Jeff Sonis said.
One woman called improving school spirit a challenge for the new director. Libano called that topic an opportunity as well.
The ideal candidate should advocate for the school, one woman said.
Sharon High Assistant Principal Mary Trahan said the new director should be visible, and "show interest in all the kids in the school."
One man asked how the Sharon High athletic director's compensation will compare to other communities.
Brand said that "we will be competitive." The new director will likely be offered a three-year contract, consistent with other Sharon school administrators, he said.