COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The search for the next superintendent of Columbus City Schools (CCS) is underway.

Dr. Angela Chapman has been serving as interim superintendent since January. Dr. Talisa Dixon announced in December she was retiring.

At a meeting Tuesday, the school board approved hiring Ray and Associates to help with the search and Fahlgren Mortine to help with communications related to it. A total of $250,000 is being spent on the two firms, according to a district spokesperson.

Ray and Associates is based out of Iowa. A release from CCS explains part of the reason the firm was chosen is its “extensive experience recruiting outstanding leaders for large urban districts.”

“Ray and Associates brings a strong team with school district leadership experience and a strong knowledge of Ohio and the Columbus area,” said Board Vice President Christina Vera in the release.

CCS has also launched a new website specifically for the search. The site will have more information about the search and will be updated as the efforts move forward. Under the “apply” tab, there’s a section for nominating a candidate. Teachers, staff, and others will be able to recommend a candidate for the position starting on March 27, according to the district.

“We, as parents, could benefit that search, letting our voice be heard on what we’d like and what we’re looking for for our children,” said Jamiyla Muhammad, a parent of three CCS students.

Other parents also have hopes to be involved in the search process.

“Let us use our voices and say, ‘OK, this is a great person, this is a good candidate,’” said Angie Sloan, a parent of two children in the district. “Let us vote on that. I feel like we should have more of a voice in who our superintendent is going to be and what we expect from them.”

A district spokesperson said there will be chances for people to share input on the board’s criteria for decision-making, issues facing the district, and the role of the next superintendent.