Share superintendent? Mundelein elementary, high school districts plan to

Two Mundelein school districts plan to take the spirit of cooperation to a new level by sharing a superintendent beginning in 2019-20.

As proposed, Mundelein High School District 120 Superintendent Kevin Myers would have a dual role and also serve as chief administrator in Mundelein Elementary District 75. He would receive a five-year contract to which each district would contribute to salary and benefits based on student enrollment.

District 75 Superintendent Andy Henrikson is retiring at the end of the 2018-19 school year, setting the stage for the move recommended by a committee composed of board members, teachers, parents and community members from each district that is studying shared services.

The proposed shift was announced Friday in a joint news release. The District 75 school board will consider an agreement for shared superintendent services at its meeting Monday, and the District 120 board will do so Tuesday.

Increased student achievement through an aligned K-12 curriculum and the ability to focus more money toward student learning and less on administrative and operating expenses were noted as benefits.

"We have two visionary boards of education that see shared services and a shared superintendent as a positive move for both districts," Myers said.

Mundelein High School is the sole school in District 120, and four schools constitute District 75: Sandburg Middle School, Mechanics Grove Elementary School, Washington Early Learning Center, and Lincoln Early Childhood Center, a preschool.

"We really want to focus our expenses on the kids. It's a good way to streamline," Henrikson said.

The next school year will be transitional as protocols for shared decision-making and other details are worked out.

The districts have cooperated in other areas and began sharing technology staffs several years ago. Adding athletic fields has been a priority for District 120, but instead of building new fields, there have been talks with District 75 about improving existing fields at Sandburg and Mechanics Grove, which already are used by some high school teams.

In a potentially related matter Monday, the District 75 board will vote to list its headquarters at 470 N. Lake St. in Mundelein for sale. The former Kirk of the Lakes Presbyterian Church property adjacent to Mundelein High School, known as the annex, is a possibility for a relocated office, according to Henrikson.

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