Supt. search underway in Dist. 127.5

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  Board members in Chicago Ridge School District 127.5 are in the initial stages of a search for the district’s next superintendent.

  Board members spent Saturday interviewing seven candidates for the position, said board president Greg Hillman. Twenty five individuals applied for the position.
  Supt. Joyce Kleinaitis is retiring at the end of the school year after eight years in the position. Her base salary for 2013-14 is $161,902.
  Kleinaitis said she is leaving to teach graduate education classes. Specifically, she will teach school law, which prepares teachers to become administrators, she said.
  Kleinaitis is 43-year veteran of education, having worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent before coming to District 127.5
  The board was expected to discuss the initial interviews at its Tuesday meeting, Hillman said.
  Board members could decide to meet with additional candidates or grant second interviews to some of those interviewed Saturday, he said.
  “We have to sit down and review,” Hillman said Monday. “We are going to discuss what our next options are.”
  The finalists for the position will be brought in for an additional round of interviews and meet with faculty, staff and members of the community, Kleinaitis said.
  She said the board hopes to choose her successor within the next few months.
  The seven candidates all are from Illinois. Each responded to a posting the district placed with the Illinois Association of School Boards. The district did not hire a search firm to select or screen candidates.
  The services of a search firm could cost the district at least $15,000 plus expenses, Kleinaitis said.
  Hillman would not discuss the qualities the board is seeking in the next superintendent.
  “The intent is to find the most qualified candidate that we can,” he said.
  Kleinaitis said, however, that her successor’s key challenges will be to maintain programming and develop a relationship with the community.
  District 127.5 serves approximately 1,500 students in Chicago Ridge and a small portion of Oak Lawn. Students attend Finley Junior High and Ridge Central and Ridge Lawn elementary schools.