Glen Ellyn District 89 finds next superintendent in Indian Prairie District 204
A deputy superintendent in Indian Prairie Unit District 204 will take the helm of Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89.
The District 89 school board has selected Doug Eccarius as its next superintendent. Eccarius will become only the sixth school chief to oversee the district since 1958.
His selection caps a four-month national search for a new district leader to replace outgoing Superintendent Emily Tammaru, who has been appointed to the same job in Northbrook-Glenview District 30.
The District 89 school board paid search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates $24,500 to handle the recruiting efforts. Although board members cast a wide net, they did not have to go far to find what they were looking for.
Eccarius lives in Plainfield with his wife, Jenny. In his current role, he's responsible for curriculum and instruction, department budgets, online learning and English language learner supports.
Aurora-based District 204 has over 25,600 students -- more than 10 times the enrollment in District 89. The district operates five schools for nearly 2,300 students from parts of Glen Ellyn, Lombard and Wheaton.
"When the board met with Doug, he expressed his desire to come to a district where he can build relationships with our students, in our classrooms, with the families in this community and with the staff in our buildings," board President Haydee Núñez said.
The school board unanimously approved his three-year contract Monday night. His base salary in the first year is $218,000.
Eccarius will assume leadership on July 1, but says he plans to visit the district several times before then. He will be introduced to parents during an open house in the district's administrative offices at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25.
"Over the next few months, it is my goal to meet with as many students staff, parents and community members as possible in order to learn even more about the district and the community," Eccarius told board members. "I strongly believe that all students can be successful. And I want all students to have a love of learning that will carry them far in life and allow them to make the world a better place."
Eccarius said he looks forward to being a "regular presence in the lives of students."
"I hope you quickly see that I am friendly, dedicated, student-centered, strategic, a problem solver and a transparent leader," he said. "I will always have an open door and will be available for all stakeholders."
Eccarius has 26 years in education under his belt. When he graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor's degree in middle school education, Eccarius became the first person in his family to earn a college diploma, Núñez said.
Eccarius began his career in 1997 as a seventh-grade math and geography teacher at Gregory Middle School in Naperville, where he also coached football, wrestling and track.
"Most importantly, he loved finding new ways to help kids grow academically and socially," Núñez said.
He later became assistant principal of Clarendon Hills Middle School and then principal of The Lane Elementary School in Hinsdale. Eccarius served as assistant superintendent for human resources in District 181 in Burr Ridge until Indian Prairie's superintendent asked him to return.
He also holds a master's degree in educational leadership from North Central College in Naperville.
His wife is a permanent substitute teacher in Plainfield. They have two adult children: Allison, a graduate student at Edinburgh University in Scotland; and Douglas Jr., a junior at Illinois State University studying to become a teacher.
Eccarius will work with a school board that includes one new member, Jessica McGee, the top vote-getter in the April 4 election. Voters also returned incumbents Scott Pope and Yannick Koger to their board seats.
Tammaru was paid a $190,000 base salary in her first year as superintendent. She now receives a salary of $233,980, according to the district's administrator compensation report. When she leaves this summer, Tammaru will have spent seven years in charge.