After national search, District 25 board finds new superintendent ‘right in front of our noses’

The Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board conducted a nationwide search for a new superintendent, but board President Anisha Jogee admits the right candidate was “right in front of our noses.”

Jogee and her six elected colleagues chose Brian Kaye - one of current Superintendent Lori Bein’s right-hand people in the administrative office - to take the reins July 1, when Bein steps down after a decade in District 25.

After launching the search process with the hiring of a search firm last June, the board formally approved Kaye’s three-year, $225,500-a-year contract at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Kaye has spent 18 of his 25 years in the education field in District 25, including the last 4 1/2 as assistant superintendent of personnel and planning. He spent eight years as principal of Thomas Middle School, five years as principal of Windsor Elementary, and one year as associate principal of South Middle School.

Jogee said Kaye’s commitment to forwarding education, connecting with the community, and putting students and staff first make him the ideal leader for the school district.

“Everybody in this room knows how much experience he brings, how much heart he brings. He is truly a human leader,” Jogee said.

Kaye said he would prioritize student growth, embrace innovation, and cultivate a community where every student is valued and supported. He vowed to build on Bein’s efforts, saying her “shoes are going to be impossible to fill.”

The board chose Kaye after interviewing seven candidates behind closed doors in late November and early December. School Exec Connect, the Oak Park-based consultant retained for a $18,500 fee, collected 32 applications in all, officials say.

Jogee said board members used the community’s input to guide their decision-making process. The search firm conducted 21 focus groups, talked to more than 200 community members, and launched an online survey to gather opinions on what they wanted to see in a new district leader.

Under his eight-page employment contract, Kaye will get 25 vacation days, 15 sick days and three personal days. The board will pay his contribution to the Teachers’ Retirement System, two-thirds of his medical insurance and one-third of his dental insurance. He’ll also get a $7,864 cash benefit stipend and district cellphone.

The agreement runs through June 30, 2027.

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