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posted: 8/26/2014 5:30 AM

Kaneland picks ex-Palos Hills chief as interim superintendent

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  • Ken Sorrick has been hired as the interim superintendent of Kaneland Community Unit School District 302.

    Ken Sorrick has been hired as the interim superintendent of Kaneland Community Unit School District 302.


The Kaneland school board Monday hired former North Palos District 117 chief Ken Sorrick to serve as interim superintendent.

The board approved a 100-day contract, which begins Tuesday, and will pay Sorrick $90,000. One hundred days is a limit set by the Teachers' Retirement System pension board before a retired superintendent's pension benefits are affected.

Board member Tony Valente voted against the contract, and Teresa Witt was absent.

Valente voted against the contract because it allows Sorrick to take a chunk of time off, from December through February. Not having a superintendent if a crisis happens worries him, he said.

"It is a critical time, making the master schedule, looking at staffing for next year," Valente said. "Not having somebody experienced to make those decisions at that time may impact the district."

Valente said he would have liked the 100 days spaced out to something like three days a week.

Peter Lopatin said he too was concerned about the gap, but noted Sorrick initially proposed being off through March. If the board feels it needs a superintendent in place in the winter, it can act on that later, Lopatin said.

Board President Cheryl Krauspe said the board said it wanted the days "front-loaded" at the beginning of the school year. Nobody on the board said that in open session Monday; however, the board did discuss the hiring of the interim in closed sessions Monday and Aug. 18.

Kaneland's superintendent, Jeff Schuler, is leaving at the end of the week to become the superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville District 200.

Sorrick was superintendent in District 117 for eight years and retired in 2011.

Orrick will help the board look for a new superintendent. The job will be posted later this week, Krauspe said.

Five people applied for the interim position.

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