New Villa Grove schools chief expected next month

New Villa Grove schools chief expected next month

VILLA GROVE — After an extensive search and several rounds of interviews, the Villa Grove school board expects to announce a new superintendent at its Nov. 19 meeting.

The board of education has been working with the Illinois Association of School Boards over the last few months to narrow down a list of 28 applicants.

The board was given seven finalists to consider and have narrowed it down to the top three candidates. James Russell, the association's associate executive director, said he was pleased with how the search has been going and the quality of candidates they could present to the district.

"Candidates are looking for a good fit for themselves. They are also looking for challenges and opportunities," he said.

The school board also conducted an online community survey through the school website on community members' criteria for the next school leader. The survey was completed by 159 people, who identified budget experience and being accessible as their main criteria.

School board President Steve Douglas said, "We found that their ideas and concerns were almost identical to those of the board."

Douglas said the board's main priority has been to find someone with experience, especially in the area of school and state finances. All of the finalist have experience as an administrator in Illinois.

After a preferred candidate is identified this week, Douglas says, board members will visit the candidate's current district and community to interview staff and residents to get better insight into that person's previous experiences and community relations. The next step will be a meeting with the top candidate and Villa Grove staff, according to Douglas.

Current Superintendent Steve Poznic says he has not been involved in the search but is looking forward to the selection and assisting in the transition.

"It is a very important event for the district," he said.