District 308 Board to Choose New Superintendent Tonight
The search for a successor to Dan O'Donnell will likely conclude tonight, in a special meeting set for 7 p.m. at Oswego High School.
The search for a new superintendent for District 308 has been ongoing since March. Tonight, it’s likely to come to an end.
The Oswego School District Board has called a special meeting for tonight, and the agenda strongly indicates that a new superintendent will be announced by the end of the night. The one action item listed, in fact, is as follows: “The Board will approve the new superintendent’s contract.”
Board Member Mike Scaramuzzi confirmed Wednesday that the board has made its final decision on a superintendent. He said he was thrilled with the quality of the candidates brought forth by the district's search firm, Iowa-based Ray and Associates, and said the final two candidates, interviewed again at the end of May, presented board members with a difficult decision.
In the end, he said, a supermajority of board members all picked the same candidate.
"I'm really excited about starting to work with this gentleman," he said. "I think he's a perfect fit for this district, and a lot of his experiences will translate to what we're going through."
The search began in April, when about 500 district residents participated in forums and filled out surveys to tell Ray and Associates what kind of superintendent they were looking for. About 100 of those people attended focus groups, and gave input on the qualities of a successful superintendent for the district.
The firm put together a report based on the responses, and the board used that to direct their search. Scaramuzzi said that public input was very helpful, and the final 10 candidates were screened based on the criteria the public provided.
School board members conducted interviews with candidates in May, after news broke in April that the new superintendent would receive a salary in the range of $235,000 a year – up 17.5 percent from the $200,000 plus benefits O’Donnell received for the 2011-2012 school year. Scaramuzzi did not confirm the new superintendent's salary on Wednesday.
O’Donnell resigned in February, citing disagreements with the majority of school board members. His last day will be June 30.
The board is also seeking replacements for Assistant Superintendent Todd Colvin, who gave his notice in January; Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Marsha Hollis, who will retire at the end of the year; and principals for Thompson Junior High School, Long Beach Elementary School and Brokaw Early Learning Center.
Scaramuzzi said it was always the board's intention to choose a superintendent first, and involve the new district leader in the search for the other top administrators. Scaramuzzi said the board's choice for superintendent is excited to get to work, and may even become involved in choosing new administrators before his contract term begins.
"I hope he'll be here a long time, and he'll take us through a period of unprecedented growth," Scaramuzzi said.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Oswego High School’s community room, and is open to the public.