Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 Superintendent Kate Hyland is retiring after this coming school year, and the school board has already begun the process to look for her successor.
As soon as its next meeting Aug. 10, the board could choose to hire a search firm to solicit applications from interested candidates and coordinate interviews. The board also could opt to do the search in-house, according to board President Phil Pritzker.
Hyland, who became superintendent in 2012, has said she will retire after serving the remainder of her contract, which expires June 30, 2018.
Board members last week interviewed officials with School Exec Connect, BWP & Associates, ECRA Group and the Illinois Association of School Boards. If and when the board selects one of them, it could take up to four months to conduct a nationwide search.
"We want to be at the front of the search," Pritzker said. "I think we're in a good position to get hopefully the best and brightest of those who may be looking for a new position."
District 21 has had a varied history of picking superintendents from within or from the outside. Hyland was the district's associate superintendent for curriculum and learning before being appointed superintendent. Her predecessor, Gary Mical, was previously a superintendent in Fremont Elementary District 79.
Earlier, Lloyd "Bud" DesCarpentrie had served as the district's business officer before he became superintendent.
Pritzker lauded Hyland for having a "user-friendly" approach with parents and staff, including regular meetings with the teachers union. She also established the district's professional learning community for staff development.
The next superintendent, Pritzker said, will have to "hit the ground running" on helping oversee the district's finances. He said that would include the likelihood of borrowing or getting a referendum on the ballot to generate more funds for educational programming.
The timing of that may depend on a possible state-imposed property tax freeze, Pritzker said.