Tafoya, 46, will take over the role in July after Superintendent Lauri Tobias retires. Tobias has been with the district for 15 years, according to a news release from the district.
Since moving to Harvard in the past year, Tafoya said he’s seen the pride the city has for its schools.
“I really, really value that, and am excited to engage the community deeper in our schools,” Tafoya said.
Tafoya has lived in McHenry County for 12 years, and he has three children. Before his current role, Tafoya was the principal of Woodstock High School for nine years, he said.
Tafoya earned a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College and his master's in education, advanced study in educational administration and doctoral degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He started his teaching career in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a high school Spanish teacher.
After getting to know people in District 50, Tafoya said working on the district’s strategic plan will be one of his first tasks.
“I’m really excited to be placed in this position by the board,” Tafoya said. “It’s a great community, and the potential here is absolutely amazing.”
The school board unanimously approved Tafoya’s three-year contract at its meeting Monday, said Dan Marchik, District 50's community outreach coordinator. Tafoya will be paid a starting salary of $175,000.
The decision came after the school board and a community committee conducted months of surveys, focus groups and interviews.
“Dr. Tafoya stood out among a group of well-qualified candidates interviewed by the board,” board President Richard Stoxen said in a statement. “We were impressed with his enthusiasm, vision and ability to speak to all families in Harvard as an experienced bilingual leader. We are excited about the future of the Harvard schools and look forward to welcoming Corey to the district.”