School board president says DeKalb District 428 aims for interim superintendent in June

DeKALB – Given the uncertainty surrounding what the school year will look like in the fall, DeKalb District 428 school board president Sarah Moses said the board doesn’t want to rush its search for a superintendent.

So while a search firm hasn’t been selected yet for the full-time superintendent, Moses said finding an interim superintendent should happen in June ahead of current superintendent Jamie Craven’s exit on June 30.

“We certainly want to find the right person,” Moses said in an interview with the Daily Chronicle. “That’s why we’re not rushing the process. We are going with an interim and take the time to find the right superintendent for the district.”

Moses said the school board has a special meeting planned Thursday to not only select a search firm, but conduct interviews for the interim position.

“So we’re doing the request for proposals in that meeting on the 28th, then what we’ll do is go into closed session after that meeting,” Moses said. “We’ll be interviewing candidates for the interim position in that meeting.”

Moses said the interim superintendent would work with Craven, then take over on July 1.

On the last school board meeting on May 19, Craven laid out possible re-entry plans for the fall, ranging from a continuation of remote learning that's been in effect since March 16, to an alternating in-person schedule, to perhaps an early start around Aug. 1 in anticipation of a second-wave of COVID-19 in the late fall.

Craven stressed the fluid nature of any plan short of guidance from the governor and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Moses said the interim superintendent would be able to work with Craven to navigate whatever school in the fall looks like.

"Ideally they would start transitioning with Jamie, then take over on
July 1," Moses said. "Ideally an interim superintendent, often they're a retired superintendent. They've got a wealth of experience running a district or different districts."

Craven announced in April he's leaving for Peru District 124.

Moses said the board is looking for input from throughout the district on a full-time replacement, and that search can take time – something that necessitates the need for an interim superintendent.

“We certainly acknowledge the process to procure the best superintendent takes time,” Moses said. “We want to make sure we’re inclusive and thorough in that process and include all stakeholders. So keeping that in mind we’re in the process to secure an interim superintendent to ensure a smooth transition.”

Moses didn’t nail down a timeframe for a permanent replacement for Craven.

“We’re excited about the process,” Moses said. “Even though it’s a tumultuous time, we’re excited to move forward and do positive things for the district and do good things for kids.”