District 211 picks consultant for superintendent search

  • Gary Zabilka of Minnesota-based School Exec Connect pitches his consulting firm's services to the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board Thursday for a second consecutive superintendent search. The board selected School Exec Connect over Schaumburg-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.

      Gary Zabilka of Minnesota-based School Exec Connect pitches his consulting firm's services to the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board Thursday for a second consecutive superintendent search. The board selected School Exec Connect over Schaumburg-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. Eric Peterson | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Superintendent Dan Cates

    Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Superintendent Dan Cates

  • Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Board President Robert LeFevre Jr.

    Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Board President Robert LeFevre Jr.

 
 
Posted6/21/2019 5:30 AM

With 376 days left before the retirement of Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Superintendent Dan Cates, board members on Thursday selected a search firm to compile, interview and narrow a list of potential successors.

After hearing presentations from School Exec Connect in Minnesota and Schaumburg-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the board ultimately concurred on the former to conduct the search, as it did in 2013. In the coming weeks, administrators will negotiate a contract with School Exec Connect to be approved by the board July 18.

 

Board President Robert LeFevre Jr. said he expects the upcoming process to largely approximate the one that identified Cates eight months before he succeeded Nancy Robb on July 1, 2014.

On that occasion, the search firm first met with the board and several focus groups of stakeholders in the district to establish criteria for the new superintendent. A survey also is expected to contribute.

When the 35 applicants last time had been narrowed to just a few finalists, those candidates also met with the focus groups. But the school board has the final say on the new superintendent.

Apart from the search firm's and finalists' meetings with the stakeholder groups, much of the search process over the next few months will be taking place in closed meetings of the board as a personnel issue.

The current goal is for the board to choose a new superintendent by the end of October, allowing its nominee to have as much time to prepare for the transition as Cates did.

Though five of District 211's seven superintendents -- including Cates -- have been hired from within, LeFevre said he believes the help of a search firm in finding qualified external candidates is essential to ensure the board hires the right person.

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