Online input urged in Danville superintendent hunt

Online input urged in Danville superintendent hunt

DANVILLE — Parents and other community members will have a chance to weigh in on the qualifications of the next Danville schools chief.

SchoolExec Connect, the Highland Park firm that's conducting the search for Superintendent Mark Denman's successor, will collect that information through an online survey Sept. 3-17. The survey will be available on the district's website.

"It will be open to anybody," said Denman, who is retiring on June 30. "Basically, they want to know what people think the district strengths are, what are areas of improvement, what characteristics they would like to see in a superintendent and things along that nature."

Consultants Kathy Robbins and Diane Robertson were in Danville recently to give an overview of the search and lay out a timeline.

In addition to the surveys, the consultants will interview board members and conduct meetings with several focus groups — including administrators and teachers, business leaders and parents and community members — on Sept. 9 and 10 to develop a superintendent profile. They will present the profile to board members for their approval at a Sept. 24 meeting.

"That's what they will use to recruit candidates," Denman said, adding the position has been posted, and the firm will accept applications until Oct. 17.

While the search will be broad, "they did say the vast majority of candidates will probably be from Illinois or have worked in Illinois in the past," Denman said.

The consultants will vet applicants and then present about six candidates for the board's consideration on Oct. 29. Then the board will interview candidates on Nov. 7 and 8 and finalists the week of Nov. 17.

If all goes smoothly, the board could announce a new superintendent sometime in December.

Board President Bill Dobbles said he questioned whether a search could be done well in that tight time frame. But he said the schedule could be modified if more time is needed for a particular step.

"This board wouldn't hesitate to extend the time if they felt it was necessary," he said.

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