Superintendent's departure isn't only administrative turnover in District 214

The upcoming departure of the longtime superintendent of Northwest Suburban High School District 214 isn't the only top administrative turnover at the state's second-largest high school district.

The Arlington Heights-based district is looking for a new associate superintendent for business services - a hiring decision that may or may not occur before Superintendent David Schuler begins his new job in mid-February as executive director of AASA, the national School Superintendents Association, officials say.

The search for a new chief school business official kicked into high gear recently when the school board approved a revised job description and posting.

Cathy Johnson, who held the position since 2013, resigned Sept. 15. District spokeswoman Stephanie Kim said she isn't aware of where Johnson may be employed. Johnson didn't respond to a request for comment.

In the meantime, Mike Vargas, the district's director of business services, has been overseeing the district's finance and business operations. It's a busy time for the department amid the annual budget and tax levy process.

Kim said the earliest a permanent replacement would be chosen is after winter break. But whether Schuler will be there to make the hiring decision - or leave it to other administrative officials - is unknown. The job posting doesn't have an official closing date and it depends on the candidate pool, Kim said.

The district also is looking for a new Rolling Meadows High School principal, upon Eileen Hart's retirement at the end of this school year. Hart has been principal since 2011.

The school board met in closed session earlier this week to formally launch the search for Schuler's replacement, after his announcement Nov. 17 that he is leaving after 17 years at the helm.

Based on salary, the jobs of Schuler ($335,344.55), Hart ($226,075.20) and Johnson ($203,472.96) are among the top five in the district's administrative structure. The other top-paid employees are Laz Lopez, associate superintendent for teaching and learning, who is making $213,473, and Pat Mogge, director of community engagement and outreach and director of community education, who is making $203,830, according to the district's most recent salary and benefits reports.

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