This letter is my personal recommendation for District Wise Search Consultants. Most recently, I had the opportunity to work with Joann Kaplan and Robert Freier. During this time, I found them to be diligent in following through on commitments and relentless in pursuing opportunities or candidates on behalf of those they represent.Besides being a reliable source of information and extraordinary ambassador for both the company trying to recruit talent or the individual looking for a new opportunity, the most important quality that Bob and Joann display is Integrity. District Wise Search can be depended upon to make a good match between employer and employee. Through their efforts to bring a viable candidate to a school board consisting of nine trustees, they were able to secure a unanimous decision for one of their recommended professionals. Based on experience alone, D.W.S.C. has proven to me that they work in the best interest of both the company recruiting talent as well as the professional seeking new opportunity. I believe this quality is truly rare in the world of professional recruitment and is extremely beneficial in the long-run for their clients.I highly recommend Robert and Joann and the professional recruitment services of District Wise Search Consultants. They are honest and forthright professionals in their own right and do an excellent job matching company needs to a professional’s desires.

Victor J. Canales
Trustee, Sachem Central School District

My experience working with District-Wide Search Consultants has been outstanding. From the perspective of a candidate navigating through the interview process, Bob and Joann were extremely professional, open, and supportive. The communication and feedback they provided during the interview process was clear, honest and helpful. The search process was conducted in a confidential, comprehensive, and well organized manner. Bob and Joann know their field well. They understand the intricacies of the world of education, and they have tremendous knowledge and skills in the area of professional recruitment. Most of all, they know people, and have the unique ability to match a prospective candidate with the needs and goals of an individual school district, resulting in a good fit for both. Working with Bob and Joann was an absolute pleasure. I would enthusiastically recommend their services without reservation.

Fino M. Celano, Ed. D.
Superintendent, Herricks Union Free School District as of July 1, 2015

Bob and Joann were a breath of fresh air during our search process. As former board members, they understand the intricacies of a successful superintendent search. They listened to us and our community and unlike other search firms who bring a stable of candidates from district to district, used their knowledge and expertise to recruit candidates who best suited our district’s needs. With boundless enthusiasm they recruited and vetted an outstanding pool of candidates and preserved our time and energy for the final stages of the search. Without their professionalism, unending support, and outstanding educational network, we would not have been able to find the perfect candidate for the job. Any district who hires District Wise for their search firm can rest easy that they will have a dedicated and ethical team who will insure that their district finds its best possible match.

Babylon BOE 2014-2015
Carol Dell’Erba
Trustee, Babylon Union Free School District


Bob and Joann each bring a fresh perspective and boundless energy to the superintendent search process. Their years as devoted board members reflect their commitment to public education. Their board and parenting experience catalyze and amplify their keen insights into schools and leadership. They know our region, our expectations regarding excellence, are highly ethical individuals and they are most worthy of consideration by boards of education seeking exceptional quality.

Ron Friedman
Retired Superintendent, Great Neck Public Schools

Just recently the Hewlett-Woodmere School District finished the process of hiring a new Superintendent.  As we all know, this is one of the most important things a School Board is charged to do.  After getting past the initial conversation of whether or not to even hire a Consultant Firm for the task, we interviewed several.  We chose District Wise Search because we were confident that they would be able to guide us through the process and bring us high quality candidates.  We very much appreciated the fact that they would have an in depth understanding for what the experience would be like for us since they themselves are former Board Members.  We were very comfortable with them and we found that our constituents also felt very comfortable with them.  This allowed us to get very sincere and authentic feedback from every stakeholder from student to administrator which helped us to determine what we should look for in our candidates.Bob and Joann brought forward more candidates than we anticipated...the quality of the pool was high caliber and they felt it was important for us to meet the ones we did after their screening of so many more.  We understood why after meeting them all and once again trusted and valued their judgment in this part of the process.Communication was key to each of the steps that ultimately led us to our choice for Superintendent.  The updates and responsiveness to our inquiries and concerns were always immediate and timely.  They were always honest and forthcoming and I believe that our candidates all felt that their process was a positive one as well. What might have been an overwhelming and monumental task was actually enjoyable thanks to Bob and Joann.  We are certain that we made the right choice to use them as our search firm!

Melissa Gates
Trustee, Hewlett/Woodmere Public Schools
 
 

After interviewing three firms, two of which were some of the oldest and most experienced in the education search field, the Herricks Board of Education selected District Wise Search Consultants. One cannot do better than them and their expertise. Bob and Joann have the intellect, values, professionalism and passion for this work. The candidates brought to us were of the highest caliber, were exactly what we were looking for, and created for us a great challenge, which person to choose. In the end, they exceeded all our goals and expectations, and I am confident they will do the same for you and your district’s search as well.

Jim Gounaris
President, Herricks School Board

I have had the opportunity to work with Bob Freier and Joann Kaplan as both a community member as well as a member of The East Williston Board of Education.  Both Bob and Joann possess the qualities I think are imperative in a Search Firm. They are honest, hard working, committed and ethical. Any district hiring their search firm, District Wise Search Consultants, can be assured that they will have a team that will be diligent and will do what is right for your district.

Mark Kamberg
President, East Williston School District Board of Education

My name is David Keefe and I am a trustee on the East Williston school board and was a trustee, along with Mr. Robert Freier, during the school year 2011-2012. In April of that year our superintendent of schools advised us that she was leaving for another position. Thus we were faced with the quandary of selecting a new leader for our district. Our board and district were fortunate to have Mr. Freier immediately on hand as a trustee. Bob quickly jumped into action! Using his network sources and contacts, within two to three days Bob provided us with a comprehensive list of well thought out, well respected names of people who would compose a short list of candidates. Bob then proceeded to contact them and use his powers of persuasion to interest them in the position. Through his efforts we had an excellent selection of candidates to interview and compare to each other. During the entire process Bob guided the board as to protocol in selecting a chief executive. He also made sure that we understood the competitive environment out there so that we have realistic expectations. There were many discussion held in which Bob skillfully led us to an agreement on an issue. When the board had doubts, questions or concerns on any issue concerning a candidate, it was Bob who contacted that candidate and provided the board with the necessary information to reach a judgment on the doubt, question or concern. We were successful in our search and hired a superintendent before July 1st. This hire was one upon which we all agreed, both publically and privately. This was a person whom Bob had personally sought out and it was Bob who guided both the board and the candidate to a successful meeting of the minds on contractual and other issues. I truly believe that we would not have this person as our superintendent of schools without Bob's efforts. I also believe, had Bob not been available to us, we would still be floundering around seeking a superintendent or settling on one not really knowing why. As a trustee Bob has left his mark on our district in many ways. None, however, more important than his firm guiding hand on our superintendent selection process. Should you choose to use Bob's services in your own search you will find him a steady, well informed, hard-working asset. I wish you success in your search for great leadership for your district.

David Keefe
Trustee, East Williston School District Board of Education

I welcome the opportunity to speak on behalf of the work of Joann Kaplan and Robert Freier, the principals of the District Wise Search firm. I had the privilege of serving as a superintendent of the East Williston Schools and witnessed first-hand the strengths, foresight and passion that they brought to their work as committed board members who wanted only the best staff hired for the district. Mrs. Kaplan was a key factor in my recruitment to the district as she led the team of board and community members in the Superintendent selection when I was hired. I was able to see the power of Mr. Freier’s work as he spearheaded the search for my replacement, using the latest tools in technology and networking in unique ways. He segmented the market and explored options for bringing only the most talented, viable candidates to the board of education. Their unique perspectives as former board member allow them to approach their searches with creative, out-of-box thinking to offer a deep pool of exceptional candidates. Their work ethic and understanding of the nuances of a board of education gives them the edge needed in a competitive market. Without reservation I would recommend them to you as being worth of your most serious consideration.

Lorna R. Lewis
Superintendent of Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District

As principal of The Wheatley School for thirteen years (1995-2008), I had the pleasure of working with Joann as both a parent and board member.  While I did not get a chance to work Bob as a board member, I know of his outstanding reputation and progress the East Williston Board has made with his addition.  Districts will be well served by having two highly principled and ethical consultants lead searches for key leadership positions and Joann and Bob are the perfect fit.  As a newly appointed superintendent in the West Islip UFSD, I went through a number of superintendent searches last year as a candidate.  Specifically, I experienced four different consultants and first hand understand what an important role they play.  I am convinced that Joann and Bob will bring the right balance to recruiting and vetting candidates to insure a district and candidate are the best possible match.

Richard Simon
Former Superintendent, West Islip Union Free School District

It is with sincere admiration that I write this recommendation for Joann Kaplan and Bob Freier of District Wise Search Consultants.As an applicant for superintendent searching for a community and district that matched my philosophy, background and experiences, I was confident after the initial interview with Joann and Bob that they had thoroughly reviewed my candidacy. It was evident that they had already compiled a comprehensive overview of what the community and Board of Education was seeking in their superintendent, and from their research, I was a potential match.Joann and Bob communicated with me throughout the interview process. They were always available for advice, support and guidance.The most important aspect of hiring a superintendent is finding the right educational leader who can meet the needs of the community. Joann and Bob pay attention to detail, community and Board input, and to the matching of candidate to district. I highly recommend this expert team to anyone considering becoming professionally involved with District Wise Search Consultants .Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Jennifer Morrison, Ed.D.
Superintendent, New Hyde Park-Garden City Park UFSD

Finding a new superintendent is probably one of the most stressful duties of a Board of Education Trustee. Working with District Wise Search Consultants made the process less intimidating, provided us with amazing candidates and those massive binders were full of useful information. Joann Kaplan and Robert Freier were focused on our district’s needs and tailored the candidate search around those priorities. They attended candidate workshops with community members, district staff and the BOE. At the end, we had a very difficult time choosing one of the final candidates, all three were excellent administrators. Any school district would be lucky to hire District Wise Search Consultants when the need arises to hire a new leader. It was a pleasure working with them and I would highly recommend their services.

Michael J Lewis
Trustee, Shoreham-Wading River Central School District

The Board of Education of the Seaford Union Free School District highly recommends Joann Kaplan and Bob Freier at District Wise Search Consultants. The process of seeking out and finding a well qualified and relatable Superintendent for our district seemed daunting and overwhelming. We had an idea of what direction we would like our district to go in but needed the right person to get us there. How to go about doing that was our struggle. After interviewing a few search firms we felt most comfortable hiring Joann and Bob. They knew what questions to ask us to find the best in what we were looking for. When we received and read through our candidate binders we were amazed at the quality of candidates we were going to interview. From the very beginning of the process to the very end Joann and Bob worked diligently, neatly, and they were extremely organized. They kept us on schedule and always moving forward. The lines of communication were always open and that was very comforting. From beginning to end Joann and Bob exceeded our expectations, brought us strong candidates and ultimately our new Superintendent of Schools.

Stacie Stark
Trustee, Seaford Union Free School District Board of Education