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Lombard District 44 hires 2 interim superintendents

LOMBARD – The Lombard Elementary School District 44 Board of Education last week hired two administrators who will serve the district as interim superintendents after the retirement of Jim Blanche at the end of this month.

The board on May 28 hired Dr. Kenneth Cull and Dr. Patricia Wernet as interim superintendents of schools, effective July 1.

Both Cull and Wernet have long, impressive education careers, District 44 Board President Brooke Wozniak said Tuesday during a phone interview.

"They were chosen because both have vast experience as administrators and both have also served in an interim capacity," Wozniak said.

The board hired two interim superintendents because the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System limits work to 100 days or 500 hours each school year for retirees. Individuals who work more than that allotment begin to lose benefits.

Both Cull and Wernet were previously retired, Wozniak said. Cull is slated to begin the 2014-15 school year as interim superintendent, and Wernet will follow after 100 days.

"They both know each other and plan on being in touch throughout the school year," Wozniak said.

Cull worked as superintendent of Itasca School District 10 from 2001 to 2008, before retiring. Since his retirement, he has served as interim superintendent in various school districts, including communities in Skokie, Winnetka and Lincolnwood.

In District 10, Cull also worked as business manager and personnel director.

Wernet was formerly superintendent of Lisle Community Unit School District 202. Prior to that, she was superintendent for Berwyn South School District 100, director of teaching and learning at Palos School District 118, principal and assistant principal at Palos South Middle School and held several positions at Evergreen Park School District 124.

Blanche will retire June 30 after a decade leading District 44. His resignation was accepted by the school board in January.

The Iowa native served 30 years as a principal, special education director and superintendent in Davenport Community School District before coming to District 44.

"I just decided the time was right – you have to know when that is," Blanche said in an interview with Suburban Life earlier this year. "I've enjoyed the stability, but it's time to move on."

The school board will begin its search for a full-time superintendent this summer, Wozniak said, adding that the time frame of the search depends on the candidate pool.

Lombard Elementary School District 44 is made up of seven schools and has about 3,100 students from kindergarten to eighth grade

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