District 200 seeks public input in search for new superintendent

WOODSTOCK – District 200 will draw on public input at several points during the process to replace retiring Superintendent Ellyn Wrzeski.

The process got underway this week as district officials released a rough timeline that starts with an online survey for the community and puts the school board in line for a hiring in early February.

The board will narrow the search to three in mid-January and then invite the public to an open forum for the candidates, board President Paul Meyer said.

“Some districts, they keep it completely confidential,” Meyer said. “I don’t think that works well in Woodstock.”

District 200 is encouraging parents, students, staff members and the community to fill out a survey about the needs of the district and characteristics they’d like to see in their next superintendent.

That survey is available through Sept. 12 by visiting www.woodstockschools.org.

Hazard, Young & Attea – the district’s search firm – will put on focus groups and meetings Sept. 11 and 12 with a similar aim of determining what people want.

“I think the community likes to get involved, likes to give their input,” Meyer said. “I think that’s helpful to have.”

He added he thinks people will be looking for similar characteristics to Wrzeski. He called the 12-year veteran of the position a great communicator and leader.

“It’d be nice to have somebody like what we have now. That person is very good,” he said. “We’re looking for somebody with a lot of good skills.”

The board will hold the first interviews with candidates Jan. 10 and 11, with interviews for semifinalists coming a week later. Board members will visit the districts of finalists the week of Jan. 27, Director of Community Services Carol Smith said.

Wrzeski announced her retirement in 2010, saying at first that she’d be gone by June 2012. But soon after, she pushed the date back two years.

Her last day is scheduled for June 30.

Wrzeski’s current pay is $219,000 a year.

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