When the newly constituted Lexington City Schools Board of Education voted in February to end Superintendent Rick Kriesky’s tenure at the close of the current academic year, we thought they were making a mistake. After all, this is the first elected school board in the system’s history, and it includes four new members along with three holdovers from the previously appointed panel. Kriesky, who has led the school system since 2009, had announced plans to retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year and would have been an asset in helping the new board members adapt to their roles and the district transition to new administrative leadership.

We still believe the school board made a mistake in moving up Kriesky’s departure date, but it’s done. Now, the residents of Lexington – especially those with a personal stake in Lexington City Schools (and shouldn’t that be the entire community?) – need to take advantage of the Board of Education’s request for their input on who should be the next superintendent. No, school board members are not asking for names, but they are seeking your thoughts on the qualities that person should embody.

At a community forum Tuesday – the first of two – school board members heard from speakers who want the next superintendent to be someone who understands the system’s diversity and the particular challenges students here may face; who will set high academic standards and ensure all students have a chance to succeed; who will work to retain good teachers; and who will encourage more parent and community involvement in schools.

Those are all good suggestions. If you have more and would like to share them with the school board, one way to do that is by attending the next community forum. It is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. April 17 at Lexington Middle School prior to the board’s meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Another way to have your say is through a survey developed by the North Carolina School Boards Association, which has been contracted to help with the superintendent search.

Among other things, the survey asks respondents what they consider to be the most important professional traits, areas of skill and expertise, qualifications and experience for the next superintendent to possess. It also includes a space for additional comments. To take the survey, go to the Lexington City Schools website at www.lexcs.org and select “Community Survey” under “Recent News.” If you prefer a paper copy, they’re available at the district’s central office, at a city school, and at the local library. Those can be returned to drop boxes at the central office or schools. Surveys must be submitted by April 23.

If you care about the future of Lexington City Schools and its students, don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Tell the school board what you want to see in the next superintendent.