St. Charles School Board to interview two finalists for superintendent job

Will meet in closed session in a special School Board meeting Sunday

St. Charles School Board members on Tuesday voted unanimously to hire executive search firm Schaumburg-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to help lead the search to find School Superintendent Jason Pearson’s successor.

St. Charles School Board members on Sunday will interview the two finalists for the position of school superintendent.

Superintendent Jason Pearson has announced he will be leaving the district to become the superintendent of Northbrook School District 28 beginning July 1. Board members will interview the two finalists in closed session during a special board meeting Sunday morning.

Executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates had recommended six candidates to the board.

“We had many more apply,” School Board President Jillian Barker said. “They went through and vetted them and did some preliminary work on each of the candidates that applied. Their recommendations also were based off the profile that we created as to the superintendent we wanted and were looking for.”

She said the six candidates recommended to the board “were of very high caliber.”

“All of the candidates that applied were of good caliber,” Barker said.

As part of a process to determine what the community wanted to see in a new superintendent, the search firm met with focus groups, collected community survey responses and analyzed them. The firm talked to more than 100 stakeholders in 42 interviews, focus groups and forums.

In addition, 851 people responded to a community survey, including 463 parents and 268 teachers and certified staff members.

The board’s goal is to name a new superintendent by April 11. Barker said the board is on track to do that.

She said the board wants to make sure the person who is chosen is the right fit for the district.

“If we are unable to get that right fit feel for St. Charles, then we will continue our search,” Barker said. “We’re definitely not in a rush. We all agree that finding the right fit for St. Charles is very important to this process. But we are very excited about our two finalists.”

Pearson will replace Northbrook Superintendent Larry Hewitt, who has been in the post for the past 15 years and will retire June 30. Pearson has served as District 303 superintendent since 2017 after joining the administrative team in 2010 as an assistant superintendent and then deputy superintendent in 2016.

His contract was renewed in 2019 and runs through June 30.