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updated: 9/30/2011 10:47 AM

District 38 ramps up search to find new superintendent

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  • Ron Pazanin Big Hollow Elementary District 38 superintendent.

    Ron Pazanin Big Hollow Elementary District 38 superintendent.


Big Hollow Elementary District 38 officials are ramping up their search for a new superintendent and plan to present initial findings to the school board in about two weeks.

The school board has hired the School Exec Connect educational search firm to assist in finding a new superintendent to replace retiring Ronald Pazanin. Pazanin announced last year he would retire in June 2012.

Board member Vickie Gallichio said two advisers have been brought in to assist during the search process. She said the consultants are familiar with the community and have conducted many searches in Lake County.

"In the interim, the search firm has also established focus groups of community and staff members to go over traits they would like in a new superintendent," Gallichio said. "They are expected to report back to the board on Oct. 16 to go over what the focus groups have come up with."

Three listening forums were held in the past two weeks that allowed residents to have their say in the search, Gallichio said. People who were unable to attend those sessions are urged to share their thoughts through an online survey at

Responses will be accepted through Oct. 10, but for control purposes, only one response will be accepted per computer.

Pazanin, who has been with the district for 20 years, has been the helm when the population of the district exploded in the last 15 years.

He helped the district grow from 450 students on Route 12 to 1,759 students on three new facilities at the Fish Lake Road campus.

The new superintendent could have some tough challenges ahead, Gallichio said. Revenue shortfalls from the state have forced the district to continue pulling short-term loans to make ends meet, and a revenue referendum may be needed in the future, she said.

"It's something the board has discussed, but support from the community isn't there at this time," she said. "But, we either need funding or cuts will have to be made."

The superintendent could also be the catalyst for selling the vacant former school property on Route 12.

Gallichio said the sale of the 12-acre site, which used to house two district school buildings, is being turned over to a realtor after previous bids on the property have been too low for the board to accept.