GENEVA – The position for the next superintendent for Geneva District 304 is posted on the search firm’s website.
The school board chose Ray and Associates Inc. in March as the executive search firm to help find a replacement for Superintendent Kent Mutchler, who is leaving when his contract expires June 20, 2023.
Board President Michael McCormick said the timeline to start looking at candidates will be in the fall – after conferring with stakeholders about the qualities they want in a superintendent.
“Right now, we’re working on getting comparative numbers on superintendent salaries in similar districts,” McCormick said. “This is just preliminary. … We are going to be talking to staff and our administrators and the community and getting input on what they’re looking for in a superintendent.”
McCormick said the board will be relying on Ray and Associates to put everything together.
“It’s nuanced. There’s a sweet spot for when you look for a new superintendent,” McCormick said. “We are really going to rely on Ray and Associates to get us the right candidate.”
The firm, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, specializes in school executive leadership searches. The contract was approved at the May 23 meeting.
“The salary will be highly competitive plus includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package,” its website, rayassoc.com, states. “The salary for the successful candidate will be negotiated and determined based upon proven experience, qualifications and meeting Board criteria.”
The listing includes Geneva’s location, that the district has approximately 3,500 students in 10 schools with one high school, two middle schools, six elementary schools and one preschool.
“The community holds high expectations for student performance, and student achievement levels far exceed state and national norms,” the website stated. “Parent involvement and support is well established in a school district that is located in one of the most vibrant population growth corridors in the Chicago metropolitan area.”
However, the application deadline is yet to be determined and application materials for the position “are currently in the process of being developed,” according to the website.
The district is paying Ray and Associates $18,000 for its assistance, with other expenses such as travel and lodging to be reimbursed, according to its four-page contract.
The contract also calls for the search firm to conduct individual board member interviews to assess its priorities, goals and objectives; to work with the board to establish a timeline for each step in the process; and to discuss the position’s requirements and salary range.
The contract also calls for the the search firm to work with staff and those selected by the board to develop “an accurate informational flyer and approval of the online application form.”
The search firm is also to provide a “proven consensus building mechanism” to get input from constituents, staff, stakeholders and the board, as well as to offer an online survey option.
Ray and Associates will also offer cost-saving options by having electronic meetings to reduce paper, travel and shipping expenses.
The company will also provide the board with video technology to observe each top candidate interviewed, according to the contract.
According to his contract, Mutchler is making $244,534, not counting additional benefits.
The board typically has extended Mutchler’s five-year contracts by adding an additional year on each one. The last time the board approved a five-year contract for him was Dec. 18, 2018, starting July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2023.
The board did not extend Mutchler’s multiyear contract by one year when it was updated in October 2019. Mutchler announced his his retirement in January, triggering the search for a new superintendent.
Muchler has been superintendent since 2006.