After a four-and-a-half closed session Monday night, the school board unanimously approved the hiring of Ray and Associates Inc. to conduct the search for a new superintendent.
Though the majority of the session was used to discuss other matters, representatives from the Cedar Rapids-based firm appeared before the board behind closed doors to discuss the search, which will cost the district a total of about $31,000.
Board President Bill Walsh said Tuesday morning that the firm will begin working immediately to help find a replacement for who will leave the district at the end of June. The next step in the process will be individual meetings between board members and the firm to discuss what they want in a new leader.
When asked why a private firm was selected for the search instead of the Illinois Association of School Boards, which is currently helping fill two open assistant superintendent positions, Walsh said the board felt Ray and Associates more closely matched the district’s needs.
“We felt that using this type of firm for this important of a position made the most sense,” Walsh said. “Although there is more of an investment with Ray and Associates, their capabilities were more in line with our needs to fill this role.”
by the board last week. President Gary Ray told the board he would conduct the search himself and touted his firm's 37 years of experience in the field. The firm was also the only one to offer a two-year guarantee on whomever should replace O’Donnell.
Ray will employee an online community survey early in the process to gauge what members of the community need and want in the next superintendent. Walsh said he isn’t sure when that process will begin, but a timeline of community input opportunities will be determined soon.