Superintendent search moves ahead in District 404

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

"The board has a little bit of work ahead of it."

With those words at the Wednesday (Oct. 14) Mercer County District 404 Board of Education meeting, interim Superintendent Dr. Jane Eichman began a discussion of what the board will need to do to find a replacement for Alan Boucher. Boucher left the district at the end of September to become the superintendent in Sherrard District 200.

Eichman showed an example of a brochure that was made for a superintendent search in Forreston. She said a similar brochure will be compiled for Mercer County. Information about the district, salary, and qualifications will be included.

The Illinois Association of School Boards is helping with the search. Eichman said the local School Board will need to set a timeline for various steps in the process. She said, tentatively, the position could be officially posted Nov. 2. Eichman has been in touch with Tom Leahy, an IASB consultant.

"He shared with me they have posted the opening and there is some interest," she said.

A deadline for receiving applications needs to be set, Eichman said. An IASB search team will review the applications and narrow the field to a number specified by the board. Five is a typical number, the interim superintendent said.

She suggested setting Dec. 1 as the deadline for applications, with interviews by the Mercer County School board to be conducted the second week of January with a goal of hiring someone by the February board meeting. The person hired will start July 1, 2016.

"So, that's just an idea to let you know how this process works," Eichman said.

She said Leahy sent a one-page survey of 15 characteristics.

"Choose five traits and skills that demonstrate … a good match for this district," Eichman instructed board members. She said the IASB will not know which board member filled out each survey.

"Nobody knows who put down what," Eichman said, explaining the IASB will then compile the results to help in its work.

The board agreed it will meet will Leahy in Aledo on Wednesday, Oct. 28, for about an hour.

"This is a lot all of a sudden," Eichman said of the early part of the superintendent search. She added, however, that until the board begins interviewing candidates the process will soon shift into "hurry up and wait."