The Glenbard High School District 87 board on Monday was expected to select one of two firms to assist in its search for a new superintendent.
But a decision was tabled after one board member suggested that neither locally-based search firm could cast as wide of a net as desired.
Board member Tom Voltaggio said the board would be confining its search if it selected either firm -- Highland Park-based School Exec Connect and Libertyville-based BWP & Associates. Representatives from the companies, which both specialize in recruitment of school district superintendents, met with board members last month.
Glenbard has began looking for a new superintendent after Michael Meissen announced in August that he'd be stepping down at the end of the school year.
Voltaggio said both firms are reputable, and Glenbard has used both in past superintendent and principal searches. But he said several officials from both firms are former school superintendents, who may favor candidates they know.
Voltaggio said he's spoken with potential candidates who said they wouldn't apply if a particular search firm is chosen. That's because they might not have close ties with officials working for the firm.
"I don't think we're availing ourselves of the broad spectrum of candidates that are out there," he said.
Voltaggio suggested looking into an independent executive search firm, whose staff wouldn't have professional relationships with those in the education industry.
"The lack of close ties to the industry and all the different school districts around here, I think offers us the opportunity to get an unfettered look of who's out there," Voltaggio said.
Board Vice President Rose Malcolm said the school board would be best served by search firm officials "who know schools."
Board President Rich Heim said he would make some calls to other search firms to see if they conduct school superintendent searches.
"I agree a search is a search, but you do need to know what you're talking about," Heim said. "Some of the firms may say, 'We're strictly health care, or we're strictly engineering.' Some may not be able to play in the education space. But unless we ask, we don't know."