Officials in Diamond Lake Elementary District 76 plan to hire a search firm to find a replacement for longtime Superintendent Roger Prosise, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
The process is in the early stage but the board has agreed to invite search firms to discuss their services with the intent of hiring one, possibly by the end of the year.
Whether that will involve a national search is to be determined.
"The most important thing is getting the right superintendent for our district in the long-term," board President Lisa Yaffe said. "We're looking for them to leverage their network, and I don't know how far that will go."
No proposals or contract amounts have been received as yet.
The search for a new superintendent also will be one of the topics, with updates of the district's financial situation and accomplishments, scheduled to be discussed Oct. 25 at a community forum at West Oak Middle School.
"We won't have a lot more to share, other than the approach we'll be taking, which will be a search," Yaffe said.
Prosise, 56, announced his intentions to parents in August. He has served as the District 76 superintendent for 14 years, following four years in the same position in Bannockburn schools.
"I've had a very successful run at both districts and it's time to move on," Prosise said.
District 76, like other districts has been dealing with financial concerns. A community forum last winter, for example, regarding potential budget cuts and other measures drew a boisterous crowd of about 200.
In his state of the district report, Prosise described 2010-11 as being "very difficult and challenging" because of budget reductions and the unexpected death of a teacher. While student achievement remained strong, the financial condition of the district was a serious concern, he reported.
The 2011-12 budget is about $600,000 less than was spent the year before. The district is working to have a balanced budget within the next few years, Yaffe said.
"The school district has made excellent progress in all phases, including financially," Prosise said. "When I started 14 years ago, we were borrowing money to pay the bills -- the board was issuing tax anticipation warrants."
Prosise makes a base salary of about $212,000.