Superintendent of Schools Announcement

After carefully considering feedback from the employee panel and the public forum, and after conducting interviews with the two final candidates, the Board of Education for Springfield School District No. 186 plans to enter into negotiations with Jennifer Gill to be the next Superintendent of the District.

The Board expresses its sincerest gratitude to all community members and District employees who assisted in the search and interview process. The Board shares the community’s sense that there were two, very strong final candidates. Pending successful negotiations, the Board expects to vote on Ms. Gill’s appointment and contract at the Board Meeting on January 6, 2014.

Meet the Candidates Community Forum

A Meet the Candidates community forum has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in the Grant Middle School Gym, 1800 W. Monroe.

Finalists in the search for a new Superintendent of Schools will be introduced to the community on an individual basis during one hour time slots beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a 10 minute break between each candidate. The event is expected to end at 7:40 p.m.

Community member Paul Wappel, has generously agreed to moderate this public event which will have a single moderator styled format. Interested community members may submit their questions in writing to Mr. Wappel during the event or by clicking here prior to the event. Cards for submitting questions will be available during the event for those wishing to submit a question that evening.

Grant Middle School will have refreshments available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the school.

Superintendent Finalists Chosen

After a nationwide search and interviews with the final candidates, the Board of Education for Springfield School District No. 186 is pleased to announce that it has narrowed the field for the superintendent position to the following two candidates. Jennifer Gill is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning in McLean County Unit 5 School District. Michael Popp is currently the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning (K-12) in Indian Prairie School District #204.

The next scheduled meeting with regard to the superintendent search is scheduled for Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at 6:15 p.m. at the Board Office, 1900 West Monroe. At that time, the Board will conduct final interviews.

A “Meet the Finalists” public forum is also scheduled for Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of Grant Middle School, 1800 W. Monroe. The public is welcomed and encouraged to come out to meet and ask questions of the finalists during this forum. Please note the change in time for this event from the previously announced 5:00 p.m. start.

Special Meeting 12-7-13

The Board of Education will convene a Special Meeting on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. at the offices of Brown, Hay and Stephens, LLC, 205 S. 5th Street, 8th Floor, Springfield, Illinois. Upon convening the open session of this meeting, the Board will adjourn into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters. It is not anticipated that the Board will take any action.

District personnel will be on hand at the entrance to the building from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to allow individuals access to the meeting. Individuals who are aware in advance of a need to arrive outside of this time frame may contact Board Secretary, Julie Hammers at jhammers@sps186.org or Superintendent's Assistant, Nicole Irlam at nirlam@sps186.org, to gain access. Cell phone contact information will also be posted on the building doors on the day of the meeting. Mrs. Irlam and Ms. Hammers will be on hand to allow access to the meeting site throughout the day and will check the entrance periodically to ensure convenient and open access to the public as required by the Open Meetings Act.

Community Information

In action taken during the June 5, 2013 Special Meeting, the firm of School Exec Connect (SEC) was hired to assist the Board with a search for the next Superintendent of Schools. Board member Scott McFarland will serve as the Board's liaison with the firm. Discussions regarding the search continue at each regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.

For those unable to attend a meeting in person, the Board encourages comments be sent via email to Julie Hammers.

New Superintendent Profile

In action taken during the October 17, 2013 Special Meeting, the Board approved the New Superintendent Profile which was presented by School Exec Connect. This profile is a product of information gathered during the August 2013 Focus Group meetings and September 2013 online survey. It will be used to assist School Exec Connect in narrowing the initial applicant pool and the Board with the interview process. Copies of the profile report and Power Point presentation from the meeting are attached below.

Superintendent Search Timeline


* Board of Education (BOE) determined the advertising method and budget.
* BOE determined focus groups and timeline.
* Online ad was posted on School Exec Connect (SEC) and IASA Job Bank with links to both on district website.

* SEC met with the board members, facilitated focus group meetings and a public meeting then conducted an online survey. Information gathered from these meetings was used to help define the superintendent candidate profile.

* Advertised in Education Week and on the AASA website.

* BOE approved a superintendent profile, which SEC will use to screen candidates.

Next Steps

November 20, 5:30 p.m.
* SEC will recommend 5-7 candidates to the BOE. They will also hold an interview training session.

December 7
* BOE will interview the 5-7 recommended candidates and determine 2-3 finalists.

December 11, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
* BOE will conduct second interviews, employee group will interview and an open forum will be held. Finalists will rotate through each of these groups during one evening.
* BOE will make final selection.