The District 153 school board found its replacement for Superintendent Dale Mitchell within the district’s ranks. Scott McAlister, who has been principal of James Hart School the past five school years, accepted the position as superintendent at the board meeting on Monday, April 9.
The District 153 school board found its replacement for Superintendent Dale Mitchell within the district’s ranks.
Scott McAlister, who has been principal of James Hart School the past five school years, accepted the position as superintendent at the board meeting on Monday, April 9. Mitchell gave notice in 2017 that he would be retiring in June 2021, as superintendent. He has served in that position since 2004.
The board gave McAlister a five-year employee contract that extends his role as principal of James Hart School for another two school years, names him assistant superintendent for the third year and gives him a guaranteed two-year contract as superintendent. After the announcement, those present gave McAlister a round of applause.
“To tell you that I’m delighted doesn’t even touch on how I feel about this and how the board feels about this. We are so excited. We absolutely have the right person at the right time and we are so lucky,” said Board President Shelly Marks. “He’ll be working side-by-side and step-by-step with Dale so we’ll have a really, really smooth transition.”
McAlister came to the principal’s position at Hart School after having been an assistant principal at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, where he was on staff for 11 years. He started his career at Munster Community High School, where he worked for 10 years.
While the appointment may seem a distant future, McAlister said he accepted the contract because of the opportunities it offered.
“You talk about working with just an incredible mentor, there’s nobody better than (Dale Mitchell),” he said, adding that working in the same building with the superintendent has given him insights into Mitchell “as a human being and as a professional and I think Dale is top notch in that category.”
Mitchell also served as a mentor to McAlister as he completed his superintendent’s endorsement in 2016 from Concordia College. For his coursework, McAlister completed a three credit-hour internship with Mitchell. McAlister said the incredible support from the school board for the district’s administrative staff is also something that he and others consider extremely important in the management of District 153.
“When I look at all these factors and even though it’s three years out, (the appointment) is certainly worth waiting for,” McAlister said. McAlister has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, a master’s degree from Purdue University-Calumet and a doctorate in Education from Loyola University.
McAlister and his wife, Lisa, live in Flossmoor.