Mercer County School Board president says open superintendent job will be attractive

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Mercer County District 404 Board of Education President Julie Wagner says the district has a number of advantages as it begins its search for a new superintendent.

School Board members heard a presentation Wednesday, Oct. 28, from Tom Leahy of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB). The IASB will handle the screening process of the applications for the Mercer County job.

"Our district is in a very good financial condition," Wagner said on Thursday, Oct. 28. "A lot of districts are way in the red or they're borrowing to make payroll. … It's very attractive to have a district in the black."

While the budget for the upcoming year will be tight, Mercer County schools continue to operate in the black with cash in reserve.

Wagner said the timing of the search is also important.

"The earliness of the process," she said. "The IASB has stressed that is a big advantage."

The application deadline is Nov. 30, which means the candidate pool will not have yet been diluted as other districts began looking for new superintendents. Wagner said the opening is expected to be posted officially on Monday, Nov. 2, but several individuals have already expressed interest to the IASB in applying.

Members of the IASB staff will screen applications.

"The staff that's working on this, that's all they do," Wagner said. She explained questions such as, "are they a good fit for a rural district like this or the suburbs or down south," are considered. A number of candidates are then presented to the Mercer County board to be interviewed.

"Our interviews will either be right before Christmas or in early January," Wagner said. "Hopefully, we'll have someone selected by the end of February." The person hired will assume his or her new duties July 1, 2016.