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School Board Interviewing Superintendent Candidates This Weekend

Walsh: downtown Oswego venue chosen for comfort, confidentiality.

The board will meet in three closed sessions in the coming days to interview candidates to replace .

The meetings will be held at 123 Washington St. in the Parkview Suite located above . Public comment will be accepted before each closed session. Friday’s meeting will start at 6:45 p.m. and Saturday’s at 7:45 a.m. Another meeting will be held Monday, but a time has yet to be determined, said Board President Bill Walsh.  

Over recent months, the board has been holding closed interview sessions at either the community room at or at the District Administrative Center, which is connected to East View Elementary School. Walsh said the change of venue was out of respect for the candidates.

“It’s my understanding that this facility was used previously when Dr. O’Donnell was hired,” he said. “The reason we are using that venue is that it’s a very comfortable and confidential setting for the candidates, and at this point in the process, the candidates appreciate a level of confidentiality.”

Walsh would not reveal the number of candidates that were brought forth by the district’s search firm, Ray and Associates. However, he said that information will be available further along in the process.

Asked if community stakeholder groups will have an opportunity to meet with a field of narrowed candidates after the initial interviews, Walsh said the board has yet to make that determination.

“We will follow a process that will be beneficial for the district in identifying a qualified candidate,” he said.

Gary Ray, president of Ray and Associates, said presenting final candidates to the public before a final decision is done on a case-by-case basis. The later in the year a search is completed the less likely it is that candidates will want their names made public.

“I think the board will want to go through the first round and see who the candidates are,” Ray said. “It really depends on the time of year. This late in the year candidates are more concerned about losing their job back home if it’s discovered that they’re out looking for other work.”

Walsh said all upcoming closed sessions will be tape recorded. Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis currently is investigating violations of the Open Meetings Act in which the board failed to tape record five closed session meetings from April. Walsh has said those failures were due to human error.

“We believe safeguards are in place that the meetings will be taped per the Open Meetings Act,” Walsh said.

Weis’ office contacted the board for information regarding the violations this week, and Walsh said Weis will receive that information in the coming days. The violations first were reported by a member of the board May 2. The board formally reported the incidents to Weis two days later. 

Roger Matile May 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Nothing like the aroma of a good craft beer to enhance the educational experience, I always say.
Jean May 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Roger they deserve one or a few!
Richard Saunders May 11, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I wonder if they'll order up some crispy fried bacon for the gang?
Katra Knoernschild May 11, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I wonder if we are having to pay to rent this space, given our budget shortfalls, and all the available space owned by the district? There are ample conference, class rooms, and spaces for people to wait in. Without having to undergo an unnecessary expense.
Richard Saunders May 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Maybe they're paying a premium to have someone there to work the tape recorder for them?
Jane Enviere May 11, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I wonder if they will tell the Tap House that their window should read "martinis" not "martini's". Do superintendent candidates travel with a red pen? lol
Paul L. May 11, 2012 at 04:13 PM
For their fried bacon you'll want a nice Belgian blonde.
Paul L. May 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM
This would have been a great question for you to have asked the previous Board when Dr. O'Donnell was being hired. The only conditions that have changed between now and then is the makeup of the Board. For history, when we were hiring after Dr. Plank retired (eventually we hired Dr. Behlow), all Superintendent interviews were done at the D308 administration center.
Katra Knoernschild May 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Actually Paul, I think it's important that we learn from the past, not repeat the same mistakes. This board should be more conscious of that. Particularly in light of their questionable expenses of late.
tim May 11, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Maybe all you Oswego citizens should think again before you elect these members again from what i know ,see and hear they are a train wreck waiting to happen but hey you all elected them just saying.
Travis McGee May 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I'm just hoping that the board drinks a few rounds before they start making their decisions. They certainly aren't making good decisions while sober (or maybe I should be careful about what I ask for...).
Matthew Lenell May 11, 2012 at 07:46 PM
If the interviewee nips a few too many it might be a good indicator that they might do the same during school hours ;)
Matthew Lenell May 11, 2012 at 07:48 PM
But it belongs to the martini. :)
Matthew Lenell May 11, 2012 at 07:49 PM
It's pretty loud in there. Maybe they are hoping that the recording device will have difficulty picking up the interview.
Carol Anaski-Figurski May 12, 2012 at 12:11 AM
you got to be kidding me
Carol Anaski-Figurski May 12, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I couldn't have picked a better place to eat. Seriously. Have you tried the fish tacos?
John Spasojevich May 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Hey, it's the "smoke filled room".....how about you transparency folks picket out in front...that'll cut down the candidate list in a hurry. Paul is right....it was the Behlow era that added the air of elegance to good ol' 308. before then we were simple country folk....now we're a battered naperville-esque town with caviar taste on a beer...no scratch that...on a water budget...and make those small waters...

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