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updated: 8/27/2013 5:43 PM

Arlington Hts. Dist. 25 launches superintendent search

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Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 is moving quickly with its search for a new superintendent as officials plan to have someone hired by the end of 2013.

The district has contracted with executive search firm BWP & Associates for $14,500 to manage the search, and will be polling parents, teachers and others through online surveys and focus groups to identify important characteristics for the next superintendent.

Superintendent Sarah Jerome announced in February that she would retire at the end of her most recent contract, which expires on June 30, 2014. At the time school board members said communication, collaboration and transparency would be important in selecting her successor.

"They started off very early. This is a school board that knows what they want and set about a fairly aggressive and early search," said Mark Friedman, a consultant with BWP & Associates.

Friedman said about a dozen people already have applied for the job, but he expects up to 45 applications by the time the application window closes Oct. 1.

Consultants will meet with different groups at the schools on Sept. 12 and will post a survey on the district website in the next few weeks with questions about what parents, staff and community members would like to see in the next superintendent, he said. Consultants also are planning an open meeting in September, but the exact date is still undecided.

"From that we build a profile with the characteristics and needs of the district that will help us screen candidates," he said.

The consulting company will narrow the applicants down to about six finalists for the school board to interview. From there the field will be narrowed again to two or three finalists, Friedman said.

The school board plans to choose someone by the end of 2013 and the new superintendent will begin July 1, 2014.

A salary for the new district leader has not been set yet, but according to the job posting, it will be regionally competitive. Jerome's annual salary is $228,655, according to her most recent contract extension.

The job listing can be found online at

District 25 has nine schools and more than 5,000 students.

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