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D-113A selects new firm for superintendent search

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 11:04 a.m. CDT

LEMONT – The Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education agreed to hire School Exec Connect to conduct its superintendent search during a Dec. 11 meeting.

The board stipulated that the cost is not to exceed $20,000.

Four members voted for the firm, with Brian Bushnell and Al Malley abstaining. Board member Patrick Kerrigan was absent.

The board chose School Exec Connect over Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates and the Illinois Association of School Boards, the nonprofit firm the district used during its superintendent search two years ago.

The board had narrowed its choices to School Exec Connect and HYA & Associates during the Dec. 4 board meeting.

"I would have been happy with either one," said board President Cindy Kelly.

During discussions at the Dec. 4 meeting, some board members said they wanted a different search firm than last time.

"We need somebody more aggressive," board member Dave Molitor said Dec. 4. "We used the IASB approach before and it wasn't enough."

Unlike IASB, School Exec Connect and HYA & Associates can recruit superintendents from other school districts.

Kelly noted that this is the second superintendent search she has been part of since joining the board two and a half years ago.

"You really want to look outside the box and see what the options are," she said.

During the search, the district will work with Tom Madden, a former superintendent with Lemont High School District 210, who is now employed by School Exec Connect. Madden was part of the team that helped District 210 find its current superintendent, Mary Ticknor.

Kelly said Madden's familiarity with Lemont is a positive for the board.

According to a chart provided by the district, the base charge for School Exec Connect is $16,500, with additional costs for expenses and advertising.

The nonprofit IASB had the lowest base charge of $6,500, but also had the largest number of additional expenses.

Kelly said the district paid around $8,000 to IASB last time, but did not pay for some of the additional services that will be included in School Exec Connect's base charge.

The district provided some of those services at its own expense, she said.

"(Assistant Superintendent) Mary (Gricus) did a lot of work behind the scenes, and we paid her for her time, too," she said.

Kelly said even if the district spends more money on this search, it will be money well spent.

"We need the best possible candidate," she said.

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