After passing on three finalists at the close of last year, the District 200 school board will begin interviewing a new crop of superintendent candidates next month, and expects to have one chosen by late February, early March.
The superintendent search for Oak Park and River Forest High School hit a snag in December when the Dist. 200 Board of Education passed on three finalists, all of whom were from Illinois school districts and one with Oak Park ties. Since reopening the search in December, consultant and search firm BWP & Associates has contacted a fresh batch of candidates.
Barry Greenwald, board president, said last week that he had no names of candidates to make public. He said the board has scheduled some 20 interviews for February, and the process of choosing a superintendent will be similar to last fall’s, with community forums taking place in February to introduce finalists to the public.
“It’s all going to break loose in February,” Greenwald said. “I’m hoping to get as much done in the month of February, which would include interviewing the initial list of people that the search team thinks we should, narrowing that down, and doing it in as rapid a succession as we did the last time.”
The board conducted pre-interviews with candidates before the 2006 Thanksgiving break. Three finalists were selected and met with community stakeholders in a series of separate community forums the first week of December.
But none of those candidates received overwhelming support from the community. The board reopened the search a day after the last community forum on Dec. 7.
The board had wanted to hire a superintendent-who will then hire a building principal for OPRF with input from the board-by Christmas. That timetable would have allowed the new superintendent to transition with Supt./Principal Susan Bridge, who will retire in June.
Greenwald said if this latest round doesn’t produce a superintendent, the board would begin thinking in terms of an interim-superintendent for the start of the 2007-2008 school year. He didn’t speculate on likely selections.