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The final countdown: Three vie for Dist. 127.5 top job

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  It’s down to three.

  Chicago Ridge School District 127.5 has entered the next phase of its search for a new superintendent.
  The three finalists for the position will meet Tuesday afternoon with members of the community as well as teachers and district staff members for “open discourse,” said Supt. Joyce Kleinaitis. The forum is not open to the public.
  The feedback from the conversations will help the school board choose a new superintendent, who likely will be selected in February, Kleinaitis said. The school board plans to conduct final interviews Jan. 18.

  The 26 community members who will meet with the candidates represent a cross-section of the community, including parents, school board members and library officials.
  The finalists will meet separately with the community members, teachers and district staff, Kleinaitis said.
  Group members are encouraged to ask a wide range of questions dealing with the candidates’ backgrounds, educational philosophy, approach to the community, among other queries, she said.
  Kleinaitis is retiring at the end of the school year after eight years in the position to teach graduate education classes. Specifically, she will teach school law, which prepares teachers to become administrators, she said. Her base salary for 2013-14 is $161,902.
  She would not offer any background on the finalists, who were chosen from a group of seven who interviewed with the school board. Twenty five individuals applied for the position. School board president Greg Hillman has said all of the candidates are from Illinois.

  Kleinaitis is 43-year veteran of education, having worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent before coming to District 127.5.
  She said she has not had time to think about her departure from the district.
  “We’ve been so busy pulling things together. I really haven’t had time to reflect,” she said.
  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.