The appointment of a new school superintendent technically requires only a motion, a second and a roll-call vote.
But it was an emotional moment of reflection on challenges successfully met and future ones eagerly anticipated as Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 board members Thursday chose Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Andy DuRoss to succeed retiring Superintendent Ed Rafferty next summer.
Both men received standing ovations from the board room's capacity crowd -- first as Rafferty thanked every member of the district for making his nine-year tenure successful and again as DuRoss explained his philosophy of taking charge of an already strong organization.
Rafferty described District 54 as a true rarity in Illinois for its commitment to innovative programs for students while taking a financially prudent course that includes operating debt-free.
"I've been so privileged to work for a board that holds high expectations and holds us accountable," Rafferty said.
"Thank you again for this honor of a lifetime."
Board member Charlotte Kegarise in turn thanked Rafferty for assembling what she called a "dream team" of administrators, of whom DuRoss is one.
She and her colleagues described the rigorous, nearly yearlong process that went into selecting DuRoss from among the internal candidates under consideration.
Board member Peggy Brothman said succeeding Rafferty won't be an easy job, but DuRoss is the one to do it.
"Andy is the right person. I think he's proven that all along," Brothman said. "He didn't want to tear down what's been done. He wanted to build on it."
DuRoss, who joined the district in 2002 after eight years in Westmont Community School District 201, praised the board for knowing what it wanted to keep students competitive in the 21st century.
"As you can see, they have their priorities in order," DuRoss said. "They are committed to the students of District 54 -- all 14,000 of them.
Rafferty had his own praise for the selection of DuRoss.
"I couldn't be happier," he said. "The board keeps kids at the heart of every decision they make. If they vote for Andy, I believe they are again putting kids first."