Streator High board sets superintendent search timeline

Board expects to have a top candidate in mind in November

The Streator High School board expects to have a top candidate in mind to become the district’s next superintendent by Nov. 13.

The board is working with a consultant, School Exec Connect, to find its next superintendent. Matt Seaton resigned in June to become Illinois Valley Community College’s vice president for business services and finance.

Because of the timing of that resignation, the board hired Bill Mattingly to serve as the district’s interim superintendent for the first semester and Hank Boer to serve as the interim superintendent for the second semester, giving it time to conduct a more thorough search for a full-time successor.

The consultant spoke with the board Tuesday about its timeline and the results of focus group and survey data.

The focus group listed ensuring the strong financial base continues while maintaining facilities, analyzing student academic data to implement academic growth strategies, faculty and staff relationships and building strong morale, relationship with community members and building public confidence, developing a five-year strategic plan and establishing a clear district vision as perceived focus areas in the first year for the district’s next superintendent.

Along the focus group, 69 community members participated in a survey — 35 parents, 24 staff members, nine students and one community/business member to identify strengths, challenges and priorities of the district. The majority of those who participated in the survey said the quality of the teaching staff was the district’s strength (59%), staff morale and trusting relationships were its greatest challenge (36%). Student growth and achievement should be a priority for the new superintendent (57%) and trustworthy, courage and integrity (74%) were the most important skills for the successor.

The consultant will be accepting applications for the position for the next three weeks, then the board will interview the top five to seven vetted candidates Saturday, Nov. 6, based on how those candidates fit from information gathered from the focus group and survey.

The board will narrow those candidates down to three and interview the final three Saturday, Nov. 13, in hopes of coming to a consensus on a top candidate.

Go to streatorhs.org for more information on the results of the survey and the focus group.

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.