Consultants lay out search plan for next U-46 superintendent with goal of having job filled by May 26 – Chicago Tribune
The firm hired to do an internal search for District U-46′s next superintendent will start by conducting one-on-one School Board member interviews and launching a survey to gather parent, student, staff and public input.
Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates was formally hired by the board Monday night, and their search proposal and letter of agreement calls for having a new superintendent selected by May 26.
The Schaumburg-based firm is made up of Kelvin Adams, Peter Flynn and Karen Sullivan, each of whom has extensive prior experience as school district superintendents. Sullivan retired from Aurora-based Indian Prairie School District 204 in 2020.
“As we look at the work we are going to do, that work is framed around the kind of experiences we’ve had,” Adams said.
The firm will be paid $22,500 for the recruitment phase, which includes the cost of the survey and travel. If additional on-site assistance is requested, the fee will be $2,500 per day, according to the letter of agreement.
Their first step will be interviewing current board members to determine the qualities they are seeking in a candidate. Any new board members elected next month will be interviewed as soon as possible after the April 4 election, documents said.
On Thursday, an online survey available in English and Spanish will go live on the U-46 website, www.u-46.org, in which parents, students, U-46 staff and community members will be asked to weigh in with their priorities. The submission deadline is Friday, April 14.
Focus groups made up of students, staff, school district organizations and community members will be brought together April 5-6 to discuss what qualities they want to see in a new superintendent.
“The main idea is to hit groups that you think are important,” Sullivan told the board.
Those sessions will be held live and/or virtually via Zoom or another online platform, Adams said. A third session day will be scheduled for sometime in the week of April 10, he said.
A leadership profile report will be presented to the board on April 24 and applicant screenings will start the next day, according to the calendar presented to the board. Board members will be able to keep abreast of proceedings through a secure online portal only they can access.
Adams said the finalist pool will be narrowed down to five or six candidates by the week of May 8.
“We will ask the same set of questions that we would do at a national search for a local search. The same rigor will be there,” he said.
Interviews will be conducted the week of May 15, due diligence done the following week and, if all goes as planned, a decision made on or before May 26, the consultants said. The new superintendent would assume the job July 1.
For now, board members said they are in agreement on deferring decisions about salaries and benefits.
Board President Sue Kerr said that because the search is an internal one, background checks will be waived and there will be flexibility on an in-district residency requirement.
Mike Danahey is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.