District 211 approves $17,900 contract for superintendent search
Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members Thursday unanimously approved a $17,900 contract with Minnesota-based School Exec Connect Inc. to compile and narrow a list of candidates for the district's next superintendent.
The contract also allows for payment of expenses up to $1,600 that could include candidate and consultant travel as well as other related costs.
Company representatives Harry and Diane Rossi addressed the board Thursday night to outline what they described as an aggressive but realistic time frame.
"This is a premier district," Harry Rossi said. "We understand that, and that is how we're approaching this search."
He said a survey would be available on the District 211 website from about Aug. 5 until the end of August to solicit the community's opinions on the characteristics and skills the next superintendent should possess.
He also intends to start 12 to 14 focus groups made up of different categories of community stakeholders. But he advised board members that, once residents have an opportunity to weigh in online, their participation in such groups can be low, even in the largest districts.
Last month, the board chose School Exec Connect over Schaumburg-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates and directed current Superintendent Dan Cates to begin negotiating a contract for its services.
Cates will retire June 30, 2020, after his sixth year as superintendent, but the board has asked School Exec Connect for a time frame that would allow his successor to be identified by late October.
That would allow the appointee the same eight months to work on a transition that Cates had when he was selected in October 2013.
Harry Rossi said his firm would choose the six best candidates from the nationwide search to present to the board, then narrow the list further to two or three whom the focus groups would meet.
Though the focus groups would then have an opportunity to share their thoughts, the board alone retains final say on a new superintendent.