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H-F school board nearing decision on educational search firm for principal search

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School Personnel Committee will make a decision within the week on which educational search firm will help District 233 find the school’s next principal.

Gerald Pauling, chairman of the committee, reported at the Oct. 18 school board meeting that three firms were brought to campus for interviews on Oct. 13. They are Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates of Schaumburg; BWP & Associates of Libertyville; and Ray & Associates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Pauling said Young, Attea & Associates and BWP & Associates are now finalists and were asked for additional information on resources available for the search and the diversity of staff that would advise the district. Once that information is presented, the committee will make a final selection.

Ryan Pitcock was relieved of his duties as principal in June after eight years at H-F. The school board said under personnel rules it cannot detail why it took a vote to buy out the last year of his contract. The principal’s duties are being split this year by school administrators.

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District 233 is anxious to get started with the search process so that it can get a list of active candidates by late December or early January, Pauling explained.

The search firm will help the district develop a profile for the position and set out strengths expected in a new principal.

The firm also will organize public forums and develop surveys for public input. In addition, the firm will be gathering information through focus groups from the district’s various constituencies, including faculty and staff, parents, students and the community at large.

The committee asked the companies to consider how they would market H-F and the South Suburbs. Firm representatives who visited the campus were impressed with the students, H-F facilities and the grounds and assured the committee that marketing H-F would not be an issue, Pauling said.

What can complicate a search is the state of Illinois’ finances and restrictions the legislature has put on school administrator pensions, said Richard Lites, District 233’s board president.

The state also has some standards on principal licensure that are not required in other states and could complicate recruitment from outside Illinois, said Superintendent Von Mansfield.

Using a search firm will cost the district between $13,500 and $18,000, depending on which firm is chosen, Pauling said.

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