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posted: 4/27/2012 4:10 PM

Barbini to return as Grant High interim principal while new search for replacement begins

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  • Grant High School interim principal John Barbini

    Grant High School interim principal John Barbini


Grant High School officials will keep their interim principal for another year after the man selected to be the new principal accepted, then later rejected the job.

Christie Sefcik, assistant superintendent of Grant High School District 124 in Fox Lake, said John Barbini will stay on in his part-time interim capacity for the 2012-13 school year.

Sefcik said Barbini, who was expected to leave Grant on July 1, brings stability to students and staff while allowing the district time to conduct another comprehensive search for a full-time replacement principal.

"Dr. Barbini is an outstanding leader who is very dedicated to the school improvement efforts we currently have under way," Sefcik said. "His presence next year provides a great opportunity to maintain stability for our students and staff, which has been a cornerstone of this administration."

Barbini has served the previous two years as Grant's interim principal after serving more than a decade as superintendent of Wauconda Unit District 118.

The rehiring of Barbini comes after Antioch-Lake Villa Area High School District 117 co-superintendent Jim McKay told District 124 administrators he would not be able to serve as Grant's principal in 2012.

Sefcik said McKay was offered and accepted the principal position at Grant in February, and even met with parents, students and teachers about the upcoming school year.

However, six weeks later, McKay told District 124 administrators he would be unable to take the job and would remain at District 117.

"He gave me a call in March saying that he wasn't able to fulfill the terms of his employment agreement with us and had decided to remain in his current district," she said. "I contacted a local search firm and completed some more interviews, but there wasn't enough time for another comprehensive search so we decided it would be best to bring back Dr. Barbini for one more year."

Calls to McKay were not returned Friday.

Sefcik said District 124 would conduct a search for a principal in October and anticipates hiring a full-time principal before the end of 2013.

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