The first steps in the lengthy and detailed search for a new superintendent in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 will occur by the end of this week.
The school board agreed Tuesday during a special meeting to open the search to both internal and external candidates. It was an issue debated during two meetings, as board members were split on whether it was necessary to take a look at candidates outside of the district.
"I'm extremely concerned that an external candidate, given our history of success, would be challenged to assimilate into our culture," board member Robert LeFevre said.
Board member Anna Klimkowicz noted the success past superintendents had even if they were previously from other districts.
"We've had a mix of internal and some external candidates," she said. "People bring their talents, their strengths, and I think that's outstanding."
After the decision was made to look at both types of candidates, current Superintendent Nancy Robb said she would notify district employees as soon as possible about the search and to urge those who are qualified and interested in the position to apply quickly.
Robb plans to retire next school year after more than 30 years in the district.
Board members also agreed to submit their recommendations for what attributes they would like to see in the next superintendent to School Exec Connect, a firm hired recently by the district to help with the search.
The board decided candidates will be required to meet with four different focus groups, made up of teachers, noncertified staff, administrators and parents. There will also be a public forum before a final decision is made, and the board and School Exec Connect will consider the results of a community survey regarding the search that will be placed on District 211 websites.
School Exec Connect representative Harry Rossi said he hopes to have the internal candidates narrowed to a few finalists by the end of June so he can present his recommendation to the board in July. He then plans to launch national and statewide advertisements on Aug. 1 for the external candidates, who will be asked the same questions and go through the same process as the internal candidates.
Rossi said it is possible Robb's successor will be chosen by late October or early November.