Bill Rees hired as interim superintendent for Mercer County

Robert Blackford/Editor
Bill Rees

Bill Rees was hired as the Interim Superintendent of Schools for Mercer County School District #404 after a closed session Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Rees was the superintendent of the Warren School District for 25 years and retired in 2004 after facilitating the consolidation of the districts of Warren and Alexis into what is now the United School District.

Rees said he would report for work the next morning but not at the interim office at THE National Bank. "I'm not a banker" said Rees. Rees said he wanted to be at one of the schools and where he will be exactly he didn't know.

Rees is the third interim superintendent the new district has hired since the consolidation between the Westmer and Aledo school districts passed last November.

"They are further along than a lot of people thought they were," said Rees. "There has been a lot of work done behind the scenes."

Rees said his new employers have given him a job already looking into weighted grading. "We had it at Warren. It's not without its pitfalls."

Rees said he would stay on as the interim superintendent until at least the end of May but would go further if he needed to.

One of the issues Rees will be assisting the new district with is transportation. The board opened several bus bids that evening from two companies and will have to choose an option in the weeks ahead. "I think it can work," said Rees of he district's current plans of running the existing routes with some minor modifications. Rees said starting your own transportation system can be a big undertaking.

At Rees' initial interview with the district at its Feb. 11 meeting, Rees told a crowd of teachers that getting a handle on staffing would be a priority.

He reiterated that position Feb. 18. "One of the first jobs I see is telling them if they have a job in the district."

Rees didn't know exactly when that would be, but added, "We are closing in on it. That will put a lot of minds at ease."

About the meeting Rees added, "I was very pleased with the agenda and how it got done tonight."

At the Feb. 11 meeting of the board where Rees was present it was a little wilder with a lot of public criticism of the board.