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Crystal Lake-based School District 155 Board approves multiyear superintendent contract

Board also names Crystal Lake Central principal

Superintendent Steve Olson reviews notes during a November meeting of the Community High School District 155 Board. On Tuesday night, the board approved a multiyear contract for Olson to be the district's superintendent. He had served on an interim basis in the role since August.
Superintendent Steve Olson reviews notes during a November meeting of the Community High School District 155 Board. On Tuesday night, the board approved a multiyear contract for Olson to be the district's superintendent. He had served on an interim basis in the role since August.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Community High School District 155 Superintendent Steve Olson lost his interim tag Tuesday night.

The district board approved a multiyear contract for Olson, who had served in an interim basis since August. Contract terms will be released Wednesday, officials said.

“I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t something I wanted to do at some point in my professional career,” Olson said after the meeting. “I’m excited and certainly have a supportive family behind me that makes it all come together.”

The board voted, 6-1, on the agreement with Olson. Board President Adam Guss, Vice President Jason Blake and Trustees Dave Secrest, Amy Blazier, Nicole Pavoris and Rosemary Kurtz voted “yes.” Trustee Ron Ludwig voted “no.”

There was no discussion in open session about the agreement. The board voted on the matter after about an hour of executive session behind closed doors.

Olson, who served 16 years as the principal at Crystal Lake Central High School, was appointed interim educational superintendent of the Crystal Lake-based school district in August after the unexpected resignation of former Superintendent Johnnie Thomas.

Olson said he took a day-to-day approach to the job as interim superintendent.

“I approached each day as a new day, and challenged myself to grow,” he said.

Olson spent the first half of his career at Crystal Lake South High School. The biggest adjustment as superintendent, he said, is going from worrying about one building for 16 years to keeping tabs on all four high schools and an alternative campus. 

“Certainly, it’s a much grander scope, making sure that all kids are serviced the way they deserve to be serviced at all five sites,” he said.

Olson said he made a conscious effort to be seen and get to know people at Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove high schools, where he had not yet worked.

“That has been a real emphasis for me to make sure I’m visible in those spots, where they maybe don’t know me as well as the other places do,” Olson said.

Olson applied for the superintendent position in 2012 when Thomas was hired. Thomas left for Rich Township School District 227 in Matteson.

In a corresponding move Tuesday night, the board also approved Eric Ernd as principal of Crystal Lake Central High School. Ernd was named interim principal after Olson was bumped up to interim superintendent.

Ernd will be paid $139,300 for this school year and $145,000 for 2018-19. The contract is pending attorney review, officials said. Olson made $160,000 in base salary as principal.

Previously, Ernd was vice principal at Central for six years and spent time as an athletic director and dean.

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