Oak Grove Elementary District 68 selects new superintendent
The executive director of Illinois' plan to ensure every child is learning and on the path to college and a career has been selected to lead Oak Grove Elementary School District 68.
Allison Sherman, who oversees the support and accountability plan of the Every Student Succeeds Act for the Illinois State Board of Education, was chosen to lead the Green Oaks-based district from among 37 candidates following a statewide search.
Sherman will replace Lonny Lemon, who is retiring after eight years in the post. She signed a three-year contract Dec. 26 that will pay her $180,000 per year. She assumes the top spot July 1, but will join the district Feb. 26 as an associate superintendent to transition with Lemon.
According to information provided by the district, Sherman has a Chief School Business Official certificate from Northern Illinois University and state of Illinois superintendent license from Loyola University.
Besides serving as executive director of Illinois' ESSA Support and Accountability Plan, Sherman led the launch and implementation of IL-EMPOWER, the state support system for schools identified for improvement within the ESSA Plan.
Before that, Sherman was an assistant superintendent of instructional services for Marquardt District 15 in Glendale Heights and director of curriculum for Indian Prairie District 204 in Aurora. While at Indian Prairie, she designed and was a founding director of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School at Aurora University.
The popular Lemon, who oversaw a five-year, $14 million transformation of the K-8 single-school campus, alerted the board this would be his last year when he signed a contract extension three years ago.
School officials began the search for Lemon's replacement about a year ago and an offer was made last April to an unnamed candidate. But a deal couldn't be reached.
The issue regarding the candidate was said not to be financial. However, one of the considerations was finding someone who could spend part of the year with Lemon.
At the time, remaining candidates were reviewed but the school board decided to start fresh and launched a new search.
Oak Grove's mission statement to "ignite a passion for learning in pursuit of excellence" was used as a guide through the process, according to school board President Tony Giamis.
Six candidates interviewed with the school board and two finalists met with three panels; faculty and staff; administration team; and nine parents and community members.