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updated: 9/13/2011 5:09 AM

District 87 starts superintendent search

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The Glenbard High School District 87 board is taking the first steps in its search for a new superintendent.

Board President Rich Heim announced at a meeting Monday that the board plans to hire a search firm to collect applications from prospective candidates and match their credentials with what board members are looking for.

Current Superintendent Michael Meissen announced during an Aug. 22 board meeting that he plans to step down at the end of the current school year after six years in the leadership post. He's declined to discuss why he's leaving.

The hiring of replacement comes at a crucial time for the state's third largest high school district since its contract with the teachers union is set to expire at the end of the school year. And though Meissen has said he intends to stay in his position until June 30, negotiations for a new contract would likely begin in the spring.

The school board is looking to have made its decision on a new superintendent by February so that person could be involved in negotiations, Heim said.

Board member Tom Voltaggio said the district's previous search for a superintendent began in late October, and a decision was made by February.

It's normal procedure to receive between 50 and 70 applications for the job, Voltaggio said.

The search firm would likely put together a list of four or five of the top candidates, and the board would ask some of them to come in for interviews, Heim said.

"If we are out there with our story, which is an awesome one, we won't have any trouble getting a good candidate who says, 'I want my name out there,'" Heim said.

He said he would ask the district's legal counsel and other school districts for their recommendations on potential search firms. Representatives from two or three firms are expected to make presentations to the board on Sept. 26.