At the Jan. 21 District 65 School Board meeting, Board President Tracy Quattrocki gave an update on the search for a new superintendent for the District. An advertisement for the position was placed in Education Week and a number of online sites in December, using the profile approved by the Board. In addition, the District’s search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), has been making calls to solicit potential candidates.
"They are very pleased with the response, and we are very much where we should be at this point," Ms. Quattrocki reported. She added that HYA is interviewing potential candidates by phone, Skype, and in person to narrow the field to approximately 20 to 25 candidates whom they will interview in more depth. They will then narrow the field to between seven to 10 candidates for the School Board to interview.
On Feb. 18, HYA will present the names of seven to 10 candidates to the Board in a closed session . The Board will then interview these candidates, in closed session meetings, starting in the evening of Thursday Feb. 27 and continuing on Saturday March 1. After those interviews, the Board will narrow the field to the final candidates.
Katie Bailey raised the issue whether some basic information could be presented to the community about the seven to 10 candidates, without disclosing their identities.
Ms. Quattrocki said, "Anyone not making it to the final stage would probably not want much of their information released."
Alan Leis, of HYA, said at a prior meeting that most candidates are concerned about their identity becoming public because it might jeopardize their current jobs.
With respect to the seven-10 candidates, Ms. Bailey said the District could provide the number of candidates, describe generally their experience, and how many are from Illinois and how many out of state.
Ms. Chow said she thought it would be okay to provide the number of candidates and maybe basic profile data, but said she was reluctant to provide too much information.
Claudia Garrison said she would like to release as much information as possible without breaching confidentiality. She said she thought it was important to let the community know "how widely we are casting the net."
Ms. Quattrocki said, "We’ll ask Alan [Weis] when they do narrow the slate, if these candidates have any problem with this and then we would need to come up with what we think are the essential pieces that we think would be important for the public to know."
Richard Rykhus suggested they ask HYA how they have dealt with this in the past.
The Board previously decided to hold open the question about how much information to reveal about the final two or three candidates.
Ms. Quattrocki said, "I think the reason we hadn’t reached a conclusion [as to the final candidates] is because there’s a little give and take in the process. If we have a candidate we’re very interested in who says, ‘I will not go to the next level if you release the names,’ then we may modify our search accordingly if we’re really interested. I think we’re waiting to make that decision. If we have candidates who are fine with it, then I think we’d love to be transparent as possible."