Wednesday, April 30, 2008

District 209 Looking For Input On Superintendent Search...

Chuck Feldman of the Proviso Herald reported recently on the search for a new Superintendent. According to Feldman, seeking public input online and through a series of community meetings are part of the planned process as Proviso High School District 209 seaches for a new superintendent.

The Board of District 209 has hired School Exec Connect, a Highland Park firm with a history of conducting searches for school superintendents and other academic administrators, to coordinate its search. The decision for a superintendent's search was made by the Board in March, after members decided not to extend the one-year contract of Bob Libka.

"We want input from the community on this (search)," said Board President Chris Welch, who added he hopes to have a new superintendent selected by the end of June.

Starting this week, District 209 residents should be able to use the district's Web site,, to provide feedback to be used in the search for a new superintendent.

Representatives of School Exec Connect are planning some community meetings, but have not yet set dates for those gatherings.

The plan, Welch said, is for School Exec Connect to choose four to six candidates from those who apply for the superintendent's position. After conducting interviews, the Board then will narrow the field to two or three and visit the current home districts of the final candidates before making a choice.

District 209's new superintendent will be the district's fourth since the 2005-06 school year and seventh since the 1998-99 year.

Some believe the high turnover in the job could hinder potential candidates from applying; other don't believe it will be a problem.

"Our job is to go out and find someone," said Ed Olds, one of the two School Exec Connect principals working on the District 209 superintendent search. "Everything has its challenges, but this definitely can be done."

Tom Madden, the other principal from the search firm involved with District 209, said the high turnover of superintendents "will be a flag" to those looking into the position. However, he also said he believes there are good candidates who will be attracted by the challenge of working, and staying, in District 209.

Welch said he doesn't expect the high turnover of past superintendents to be a problem in finding a strong replacement for Libka.

"(School Exec Connect) already has had a lot of interest in the position just from posting it on their Web site," he said. "Proviso is a very attractive place to work. After some short-term (superintendents) who followed Greg Jackson, who was here for a long time (2000 to 2005), I'd say we're now ripe to have someone in here again for a long time. I know if I was looking for a job as a superintendent I'd love to work here in Proviso."

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