After narrowing its pool of superintendent candidates over the weekend, the District 200 Board of Education has started interviewing three finalists this week and remains on course to hire a person by early April.

Linda Hanson, president of Highland Park-based School Exec Connect, on Friday said that the timeline remains pretty firm, barring anything unforeseen. Dist. 200 Board of Education President Ralph Lee said he’s pleased with the process and that “things are moving pretty fast.” A stakeholder committee of 14 people is also interviewing the finalists and will make a recommendation to the board. The group consists of faculty, student and parent representation, including members of Support Education Association, a parent advocacy group for special needs children.

Hanson said that finalists’ names will remain confidential until one person is chosen by the board. A majority of the Dist. 200 school board agrees with that recommendation.

Lee noted that the uproar among some in Dist. 97 concerning Supt. Constance Collins, whose name surfaced three weeks ago as finalist for a superintendent post in Lake County, demonstrates why his board felt the way it did.

“The kind of reactions against her confirms my belief that we did the right thing in keeping this confidential,” said Lee, who added that he didn’t agree with the criticisms made against Collins.

Hanson added that the board will decide how best to introduce their finalist to the community but that her firm does make recommendations on how to precede. In addition to coming to the board meeting the night of the vote, the finalist should have an “entry strategy,” Hanson said.

“That can happen before the contract is signed. Most good candidates will have a good entry strategy. Hopefully, there will be some open forums so people can put a name with a face; meet and greet the person and have a feel for their personality.”

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