By Terry Dean
An administrator from Oak Park's elementary school district has been named superintendent for the school district in nearby Elmwood Park, the Oak Park district announced Monday.
Kevin Anderson has been hired as superintendent of Unit School District 401 in Elmwood Park. He's currently assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in Oak Park's District 97 elementary school district, although that position is being eliminated after the current school year.
The District 401 school board hired Anderson March 20. He'll officially start in Elmwood Park on July 5. The neighboring suburb has a population of some 25,000 residents, according to the 2000 Census. Dist. 401 is a K-12 district serving about 2,800 students, with a majority white student body, according to its 2010 Illinois School Report card.
Speaking with Wednesday Journal on Monday, Anderson said it was time to move on, noting that his position in Dist. 97 had been reclassified to curriculum coordinator for the next school year. He previously served in a Kenosha, Wis. school district as a curriculum assistant superintendent. Anderson said the Elmwood Park job just "seemed like a really good match" for him.
"I had been looking this year, and with the referendum and changes taking place in [District 97], I thought is was a good time to look elsewhere," he said.
Anderson applied for the Elmwood Park position in early January and interviewed for the job in March. Anderson started with Dist. 97 in 2005, hired a couple of months after then-Supt. Constance Collins. He has applied for other superintendent jobs in the last three years, including last year in Dist. 97 after Collins was hired for a similar job in a school district in Round Lake.
Dist. 97 released a statement late Monday congratulating Anderson on his appointment.
"Dr. Anderson is an outstanding educator whose leadership in the areas of curriculum, staff development and the integration of technology in the classroom contributed to the academic excellence that is the hallmark of our schools. We thank him for his dedicated service on behalf of the Oak Park community."