Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 officials will use focus groups to help select a new superintendent to replace Dan Schweers, who is retiring July 31, 2013.
Schweers, 54, announced earlier this year that after a 35-year career in education, he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. His retirement comes a year ahead of his contract's expiration.
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Schweers started as District 59 superintendent in 2004 after serving in that role at LaSalle-Peru High School District from 1998-2004. He said he decided late last year that he wanted to spend more time with his two daughters who recently moved back to suburban Chicago, his son who lives in Aurora, and his grandkids.
"I've got two granddaughters now who both live in the Chicago area," he said. "It's an opportunity to spend more time with them. I'm ready to move on to the next phase of my life. I'm going to do some teaching, volunteer work and hopefully some fishing."
Schweers is an adjunct professor at North Park University in Chicago. He will be teaching courses for graduate education students getting their licenses to be principals.
He has no plans to seek another superintendent post elsewhere.
"I am retiring, and I have over 35 years when I retire," he said. "It's been a good, long career and I've really enjoyed improving kids' life chances."
Though Schweers will help with the transition, he is not involved in the process to hire a new superintendent.
In May, the school board hired School Exec Connect consulting firm -- at a cost of $17,500 -- to advertise the position and find potential candidates, district spokeswoman Betsy Boswell said. The board will likely begin interviewing candidates in October and make an appointment by December or January at the latest, she said.
"We are going to meet next week to figure out who they want to bring in for focus groups," Boswell said.
District 59 encompasses the southern portion of Mount Prospect, Des Plaines west of Mount Prospect Road and most of Elk Grove Village.