By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy School Board on Friday unanimously approved Cal Lee as interim superintendent.
Lee, a former Quincy teacher and principal, was one of two candidates interviewed in the past week by the board to help the district get through the school year. A consulting firm is working to form a list of viable candidates for the board to pick a permanent replacement for departed superintendent Lonny Lemon, who resigned in June.
Lee will take over at some point next week for Bud Martin, the district's former business manager, who has been serving as interim superintendent under a 60-day contract that expires this month.
Lee, a 1976 graduate of Quincy College, will sign a 100-day contract and be paid the same amount as Martin — $600 a day.
Lee recently retired after 11 years as superintendent of schools in Moline. He was formerly an assistant superintendent in Champaign during a 14-year career in that city. Prior to that, Lee worked for 11 years in Quincy as a principal at St. Anthony School and teacher at St. Mary, Chaddock and Irving schools.
"We felt Cal was right person for the position at this time," Board president Bill Daniels said. "He had not planned on doing an interim following his retirement, but saw (what was happening in Quincy) and called us. He said Quincy always held a special place in his heart."
Lee will not be a candidate for the permanent superintendent position, Daniels said.
Lee will be in town Monday to meet with Martin and begin the transition.
"It will be a sort of passing of the baton," Daniels said. "Cal will be here a couple of days next week, and then on a regular basis."
The announcement Friday morning followed a Wednesday night public forum at Quincy High School that featured members of the community and representatives from School Exec Connect, the Highland Park firm contracted by the board to recruit candidates for the superintendent position.
Ed Olds, a partner at School Exec Connect, and Diane Robertson, an associate of the firm, conducted the forum and then met with members of the board Thursday. Robertson is the superintendent of the Mendon School District who is retiring at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
The representatives from School Exec Connect will also be meeting with local focus groups who have been involved in collecting information pertaining to filling the superintendent position. The consultants from School Exec Connect have scheduled a tentative application deadline of Oct. 26 in the search for a permanent for Lemon.
The new superintendent would not assume duties until July 1, 2013.
Between now and then, the position will likely be filled on an interim basis. Retired superintendents are usually the choice for interim posts like this because they are allowed to work on an interim basis for up to 100 days under state pension rules. So it's likely the board will end up hiring a second retired superintendent to fill out the school year once Lee's 100-day contract has concluded.