Quincy School Board interviews three superintendent candidates

Posted: Jan. 19, 2013 3:09 pm Updated: Feb. 2, 2013 5:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy School Board met in special session Saturday to interview three candidates for superintendent.

Board President Bill Daniels told members of the news media before the start of the 9 a.m. meeting that the board would be going into executive session immediately and would not be taking any action or making any announcements afterward.

The board has scheduled another special meeting for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the same location -- the Board of Education headquarters at 1416 Maine. Daniels said the purpose of that meeting is to possibly interview a fourth candidate. However, he said the board might instead opt to interview the fourth candidate at the conclusion of its regular monthly meeting Wednesday night.

The board is still searching for a full-time superintendent to replace Lonny Lemon, who resigned in June to take a job at the Oak Grove School District 68 near Libertyville. Since Lemon's departure, the district has been served by two different interim superintendents -- the district's former business manager, Bud Martin, who served under a 60-day contract, and Cal Lee, who started work in September under a 100-day contract that expires later this month.

Daniels said the candidates interviewed Saturday were for either the full-time superintendent or interim superintendent positions, both of which must be filled. The next interim will serve only until the end of the 2012-13 school year. The new full-time superintendent will start work July 1.

The board was hoping to name a new full-time superintendent in December, but that plan didn't work out.

The board interviewed five prospective candidates Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 from a pool of 33 individuals for the full-time superintendent's position. The board then invited two of the candidates to come back for a second round of interviews. However, one of the finalists subsequently withdrew from consideration, so the board held a second interview Dec. 15 with just the one unidentified finalist.

Then on Dec. 31, the board announced it couldn't reach an agreement "on the structure of an employment arrangement" with the finalist and said it would continue the search process with the help of its consultant, School Exec Connect.

Daniels said the candidates being interviewed Saturday were different people from those interviewed in December.

He said he didn't want to speculate on when the board might make a decision on hiring a full-time superintendent.

"I think anytime we interview we take a step forward," he said. "We'll make progress today."

Daniels said two pending vacancies for assistant superintendent positions "probably" would be discussed during Saturday's session.

Patricia Sullivan-Viniard, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the past eight years, will start work July 1 as superintendent of LaGrange Highlands School District 106 in LaGrange. Christie Dickens, assistant superintendent for administrative services since 2007, is retiring June 30.

"We have candidates for both positions," Daniels said.