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The Superintendent Search Begins with Community/Staff Forums

May 26, 2021 - Tom Leahy, director of executive searches for Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) conducted a community forum to gather input on the search for a new superintendent on Wednesday. Leahy was hired by the school board on the heels of Superintendent Alan Boucher's announcement of his retirement at the end of the 2021/2022 school year.

The forum generated content for a brochure Leahy's team will create before posting the vacancy.

Among attributes desired by the community were:

"A visionary - practical idealism."

“They take their job seriously and want to help these kids find their way in life."

"Vision of academic excellence for all kids, make plans to get there. Also not just about the kids, for the teachers too..."

"Highly visible and approachable, visit the schools, stay informed with what’s going on with teachers, facilities."

"Good communication skills."

"Got to be aware of what’s going on in your school district in order to address it."

"Passionate with helping students, ambitious."

"Motivate teachers and staff."

"Stand up for all children."

"Committed, dedicated to improving the school - social, academics.. Integrity, transparency, role-model for all."

Community members also said they wanted someone who will collaborate well with the school board, and understand the socio-economic makeup of the Sherrard School District.

Leahy also asked the community questions to get a better understanding of the district including, 'What is unique about Sherrard schools?', 'What are the district's strengths?' and 'What challenges/areas of concern are there within the district?'

He met with teachers, staff and principals the following day at each building. Leahy said the timeline continues with an anonymous community-wide survey soon to be dispatched to collect more data before presenting a complete brochure to the board in July. Once approved, the vacancy will be listed through IASB resources, likely in August, to begin the candidate search, he said.

Once candidates are narrowed down - they will go through an interview process with the board of education.

Board president Rhys Fullerlove said, “The board’s goal is to get someone picked before the start of the spring semester next year to allow for some cross-training between the outgoing and incoming superintendent."

Boucher will retire with more than 36 years of public education service, he has served as Sherrard Superintendent since October 2015.


Cala Smoldt, Communications Coordinator