DIXON – Michael Grady will be retiring as Dixon High School principal at the end of the school year.
Grady has been principal at Dixon High School since 2003. Before that, Grady was a dean of students and a math teacher.
Anticipating his departure, the administration presented a job description and received permission from the board of education to begin searching for Grady’s successor during its regular meeting Wednesday.
“We’ve had such incredible luck and quality with Dr. Grady,” district Superintendent Margo Empen said. “It’s hard to have him retire.”
Finding someone of Grady’s qualifications will be difficult, Empen said, as the district is seeking someone who will “maximize student development and spend majority of time in improvement of instruction.”
The candidate must have a master’s degree and is licensed in the state.
“We want to keep Dixon High School on the positive trajectory that it’s been on,” she said.
The job description lists two pages of duties, lettered A to T. High on the list, however, is coordinating teaching staff, coordinating the administrative team, coordinating clerical and secretarial staff, coordinating with the buildings and grounds director and head custodian and coordinating the crisis and safety plan.
Other duties fall into the realm of budgeting, scheduling, long-range planning of curriculum and communication with parents and the community. Grady’s role also had been lunchroom supervisor.
The position is open to internal and external candidates. The search officially began Thursday.
Empen said the district will accept applications through Nov. 5. After a review of candidates will begin Nov. 8. The hope is to start interviews by Nov. 15 and have a candidate to recommend to the board at its Dec. 15 meeting.
“If we need a little longer, we could take it up to the January board meeting,” Empen said. “If the process works like I think it will work, the candidate will have six months of transition time.”
The idea is to have a new principal who could officially start July 1. The selected person would likely to have to fulfil an existing contract through the end of June. But that would still permit them to communicate with Grady on weekends in the interim. That way the incoming principal would learn the inner workings of Dixon High School so when they start the job on July 1 “they can hit the ground running,” Empen said.