The Antioch Elementary District 34 school board has named a new superintendent.
Board President Joni Kalstrup says Greg Buchanan, currently the superintendent for Golf School District 67 in Morton Grove, is "confident, relaxed and approachable."
The board announced his appointment at Tuesday night's meeting. Buchanan, 41, will replace outgoing Superintendent Scott Thompson.
Buchanan, of Woodstock, has led District 67 for two years. Before that, he was the assistant superintendent of Woodstock Community School District 200.
When he assumes leadership this summer, Buchanan said his first priorities will be to listen and learn.
"I want to establish relationships and learn the culture of the district," Buchanan said. "My first priority will be to meet as many people as I can and hear their concerns."
Kalstrup said the six final candidates each met the board's standards, but Buchanan stood out.
"We were looking for nuances and a good fit," she said. "Greg's experience heading successful referendum drives, along with his experience working with unions and his special education background, made him a standout."
Members of the board made a visit to the Golf schools recently. Their experience sealed the deal, Kalstrup said.
"We received unsolicited comments from teachers and others about how fantastic Greg is, and how sad they are to see him go," she said in a statement. "His interaction with staff, students and the administration indicated they had an excellent rapport, incredible trust and respect, and a strong sense of community."
Buchanan is married with three children. He will be paid $189,000 annually.
Outgoing Superintendent Thompson was paid $165,000. Kalstrup said the difference reflects Buchanan's experience and is competitive with the salaries of other superintendents in the area. Thompson was in line for a 4 percent raise had he stayed with the district, Kalstrup said.
The district's leader for the past five years, Thompson, 52, said ongoing contention between him and the school board was not in the best interest of the students. He announced his decision to leave in August.
Buchanan said he is looking forward to the transition.
"This is a great board with diverse opinions," Buchanan said. "I feel fortunate to lead this district. They are financially stable, have improved test scores and have a lot of good things going on. I'm looking to build on the foundation they already have."