Oak Park Elementary School District 97 officials have created online surveys designed to collect feedback from students, staff and parents/guardians about their ideal candidates for the principal positions at Beye and Mann elementary schools. 

Beye Principal Jonathan Ellwanger will retire in June after a 30-year career at the school while Faith Cole, Mann’s former principal, resigned this summer in order to take an administrative position within the district. 

Families of students at Beye and Mann can access the online surveys at the district’s website at op97.org. Both online surveys will remain open until Nov. 11. The district will also host parent focus groups at both schools so that families can provide their input in person. 

The Beye School focus group will take place at the school, 230 N. Cuyler Ave., on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The Mann School focus group will take place at the school, 921 N. Kenilworth Ave., on Friday Nov. 8, from 8 to 9 a.m. 

In a notice to families, Gina Herrmann, District 97’s senior director of human resources, laid out the next steps in the hiring process. 

“When the principal profile has been completed, we will use it to perform an initial screening of applicants for [each] position,” she stated. “Through that screening, we will select the candidates who will be invited to participate in the first round of interviews, which will be conducted by video in mid-January.”

Herrmann said that once district and building administrators screen the video interviews, they’ll invite top candidates to participate in second-round interviews “with school-based teams that are composed of staff members and parents/guardians. We have tentatively scheduled these interviews for Thursday, Jan. 30.”

Those school-based teams will identify the top four to five candidates who they’ll invite to do another round of interviews with district administrators. Superintendent Carol Kelley will then meet one-on-one with the remaining candidates. 

“She will then utilize all of the information and feedback collected to select the individual who will be presented to the Board of Education for appointment,” Herrmann said. “Our current goal is to complete this entire process by mid-February.” 

For more information about the hiring process, parents can email Herrmann at gherrmann@op97.org. 

CONTACT:  michael@oakpark.com  

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