Officials in Bloomingdale School District 13 are meeting next week to prepare for interviews with a pool of new superintendent candidates.
Superintendent Kim Perkins, who has led the district since 2003, will retire at the end of this school year.
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District 13 school board President Tamara Peterson said the job was advertised only online in an effort to save money, and a search firm was hired to help with creating the job description and initial vetting.
The firm was guided by input from meetings with each board member, administrators, teaching staff and community members.
"They wanted to understand what we as a whole consider to be vital characteristics of someone in this important role," Peterson said.
The district website also featured a link allowing any community member to offer input on the search for the new leader of DuJardin Elementary, Erickson Elementary and Westfield Middle schools.
The district is looking at both internal and external candidates for its top post, and Peterson said Perkins will be a tough act to follow.
"We have been very pleased with the progress made over the last eight years and, because we've had great success, all eyes are on this post in order to help continue that," she said. "We want someone who is strong in curriculum development, strong in financial management and will continue to be a community leader."
Perkin's departure is one of several administrative shifts happening in District 13 due to retirement. The district soon will lose Finance Director Janis Prehn after she retires. New Assistant Superintendent Amanda Schoenberg was welcomed in July.
"We have been aware these changes are coming and have spent the past two years looking at what we could do to ease that process," Peterson said. "We are making sure we have all the gaps filled.
School board members hope to name a new superintendent by January.