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Article updated: 9/28/2011 5:53 PM

Glenbard seeking help with superintendent search

By Christopher Placek

Glenbard High School District 87 board members will choose from two firms to help conduct a nationwide search for a new superintendent.

The board met with representatives of Highland Park-based School Exec Connect and Libertyville-based BWP & Associates this week, and is expected to select one firm at a meeting Oct. 11.

Both companies specialize in recruitment of superintendent candidates for school districts and have a national reach, board President Rich Heim said.

"Both will bring us national candidates, even though they're localized here. We do want a broad-based search, not necessarily focused on Illinois or the local market. Both have proposed walking through a process that identifies out the profile we're looking for."

District officials are looking for a successor for Superintendent Michael Meissen, who announced last month he's stepping down at the end of the school year. He hasn't publicly discussed why he's leaving.

Before Meissen started his tenure at Glenbard in 2006, he was principal at a high school in Madison, Wis., and had never been a superintendent before.

Heim said job applicants need not already be in a superintendent position and no candidates will be prevented from applying.

Officials from both search firms "expressed a delight to be included because they felt the candidate pool would be very large," he said.

At a board meeting earlier this month, board member Tom Voltaggio estimated there could be as many as 70 candidates for the job.

Heim said the search firm, once chosen, will whittle the list of candidates to as many as six for the board's consideration.

They'll do that by using a Glenbard superintendent characteristics profile to be developed with the advice of district stakeholders. Heim said the selected search firm will have a series of focus group meetings with board members, administrators, faculty members, and potentially community members.

Both search firms presented a flat fee for their services, along with coverage of expenses, during a closed session meeting with board members. Heim said the fees were "virtually the same."

Heim will present additional questions from board members to both firms next week.

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