Community can weigh in on the Board of Education’s decision for a new leader to take the district reins in July
Champaign Unit 4 School District has announced the three finalist candidates for its next superintendent, and has invited the community to “meet” the candidates and provide feedback.
A community event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 14 over Zoom. Each candidate will present and take questions from a moderator for 30 minutes. According to the Board of Education, community members will be able to provide feedback on the candidates via an electronic form. (More info how to join is below.)
The three finalists are seasoned professional educators with extensive experience in large, diverse, primarily urban school districts. Here are brief bios/quotes from a Champaign Unit 4 news release:
- Shelia Boozer, currently Director of Teaching & Learning and Technology in Springfield District 186. “Mrs. Boozer used her adeptness to build relationships with students and their families, as well as motivate and encourage staff and students to succeed. “
- Dr. Erick Pruitt, currently the Deputy Chief of High Schools in the Chicago Public Schools. “Dr. Pruitt has extensive experience engaging racially, culturally, and economically diverse communities that has resulted in significantly improved outcomes for students.”
- Dr. Yvonne Stokes, currently assistant superintendent for The School Town of Munster, Indiana. “A passion of Dr. Stokes has been working with students, staff, and fellow administrators to support equity metrics through effective communication strategies that support student achievement, growth and development.”
The area’s largest school district — and third largest employer — will soon select the equivalent of a new CEO. The Board of Education hired a professional search firm, Ray & Associates, to assist with the process, but the decision is made by the Board.
According to the Board of Education’s timeline, a new superintendent will be chosen before the end of the month.
The current superintendent, Dr. Susan Zola, has been on the job for four years. She will retire effective June 30, after 30-plus years in the district.
After receiving more than 40 qualified applicants, earlier this week the Board narrowed down the pool to three. None of the applicants lived in Champaign-Urbana, and no internal district employee applied.
During the event, which will be hosted and moderated by Gloria Davis from Ray & Associates, the candidates will each have 30 minutes to answer questions and share their thoughts and ideas on how they would lead Unit 4.
The event will start at 6 pm on Thursday, Jan. 14. The zoom information follows:
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84529044072?pwd=YjloTXZlWm1kdWVTYnVTUUcyN2dmZz09
Webinar ID: 845 2904 4072
The Board of Education will meet in closed session on Tuesday, January 19 in order to conduct finalist interviews with each candidate.
The Board will hold another special Board Meeting on Thursday, January 21 in order to select a candidate for Superintendent of Unit 4 School District.
More information is available via the Unit 4 website.