Despite some resident objections, the District 109 Board of Education moved forward with its plan to find a replacement for by voting at its August 8 meeting to hire a firm to conduct the search.
School Board President Ellen London said that while the board was pleased with all three of the firms they interviewed, they were most impressed by the recommendations they received for Rosemont based Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates.
“They just seemed like the right fit,” London said. “The couple of districts we talked to were very enthusiastic, especially about their community engagement.”
London said that the firm has given the board its standard suggestions of community members to talk to about the superintendent search, including clergy, parents groups and men's and women's groups, but that the board has not been able to consider them yet. She said a consultant may make a presentation on community engagement to the board at its Aug. 27 meeting.
“We've got to go through and identify groups and then we'll take their recommendations in terms of how to structure things and schedule things,” London said. “They're talking about being in the district for several days talking with various groups.”
Jodi Shapira, who drive to persuade the Board to delay its search until after the April election, said she plans to stay involved now that the process is moving forward.
“They said at the open meeting that they are looking to the community to be on committees and I hope to be involved with it due to my past involvement as a former PTO president and my current involvement in going to meetings,” Shapira said.
Some parents had to one of the three search firm candidates, School Exec Connect, saying they didn't perform well during past work with the district on the Middle School principal search. Shapira said the fact that the district did not go with that firm, despite their long relationship with them, is a good sign.
“I'm hoping that those were mistakes in the past and that they're listening,” Shapira said. “I hope that means we've turned over a new leaf.”