Superintendent from Delaware selected to lead the Kennett Consolidated School District
By Steven Hoffman
Dr. Dolan Blakey will become the new superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District on January 27, 2020. He is looking forward to the challenge of leading the diverse school district with approximately 4,200 students.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the many great programs and the great instruction that is taking place in the school district,” Blakey said. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Kennett.”
Blakey is currently the superintendent of Colonial School District in New Castle, Delaware. He was appointed to that position in June of 2014 after previously serving in that school district as a director of schools, personnel director, high school principal and middle school principal.
His career as an educator also includes working as an assistant principal at Caesar Rodney High School and teaching social studies for eight years at the New Castle Technical School in New Castle, Delaware.
The Kennett School Board approved the contract with Blakey at a special meeting on Sept. 16, concluding a six-month search to find the district’s next superintendent in preparation for the retirement of Dr. Barry Tomasetti. Tomasetti will retire in January of 2020 after leading the school district for the last decade.
Blakey will assume his duties in the Kennett Consolidated School District in late January. Until then, he said, he will be taking every opportunity to meet with parents, students, and the staff. He already attended his first Kennett football game, and he wants to take part in other events where he can meet parents, students, and staff members.
The Colonial School District is very diverse—just like Kennett Consolidated, and Blakey said that he is excited for the opportunity to lead Kennett Consolidated.
“It’s a high-performing school district with strong community support,” Blakey said. “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
The Kennett School Board enlisted the Chester County Intermediate Unit to facilitate the superintendent search. The position was advertised throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and New York.
Nine focus groups were conducted for school district staff, parents, students, and the community at large. During these focus groups, seventeen themes were identified based on input from the focus group attendees. These themes were used to develop and select interview questions for the superintendent candidates.
A diverse pool of applicants, which included veteran superintendents, assistant superintendents, building administrators, and central office staff throughout the area, expressed interest in the position.
Three rounds of rigorous interviews of the candidates were conducted throughout the summer, focusing on the candidates’ professional experiences and how well they met the Kennett Consolidated School District’s needs.
Thirteen applicants were interviewed in June, and then six applicants were selected to advance to the second round of interviews. The school board was then able to narrow the search to two candidates who took part in a third round of interviews.