Bement schools chief takes new job
BEMENT — School Superintendent Daniel Brue has accepted the top post in the Meridian school district, a job he will take over on July 1.
Brue, who has been at the 322-student Bement district for four years, said he is looking forward to the challenge at Meridian, a school system with an enrollment of 1,021 located just south of Decatur.
"I knew it was a good school district looking to improve its facilities, and there are more students," said Brue. "It's also a district within driving distance (40 miles), so there can be a transition time for my family."
That includes three school-aged sons and his wife Tara, who plans to keep her job as a pre-kindergarten parent coordinator and pre-K aide at Bement.
"I will miss the people in Bement, and the employees and staff have been great," Brue said. "I really do appreciate the community's support. They always made my family welcome and helped me be successful."
The school board in Meridian approved the hire March 28, and the Bement board is scheduled to accept Brue's resignation April 10.
Bement school board President Kyle Rogers said the Illinois Association of School Boards has already been contacted to help in its superintendent search.
"It has been posted. The posting will close April 18 and the following week they will bring us between four and seven candidates to consider," said Rogers, who hopes to have someone hired by summer.
"We're trying to avoid an interim (superintendent) if we can," he added.
It is the situation Meridian currently finds itself in, as Brue will take over for interim Superintendent Frank Meyer.
Based in Macon and Blue Mound, Meridian also encompasses the communities of Boody and Elwin and takes in a portion of southern Decatur. Brue said the fact the district is in the midst of a four-phase building project that will eventually include a new high school attracted him to the opening.
At Bement, Brue said, he was proud of leaving the school district in better financial shape than when he arrived, while increasing the district curriculum offerings.
Despite the announcement, Brue may be a part of the local scene in Bement for a while longer. He is one of four candidates running for three village board seats next Tuesday. While he did not actively campaign once he applied for the Meridian post, if elected, Brue said he would serve on the board.