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Scott Wakeley named next District 233 superintendent

Scott Wakeley was selected to serve as the District 233 superintendent-elect for the 2021-22 school year and will move into the superintendent’s position when Superintendent Von Mansfield retires in June 2022, subject to finalization of a contract at that time. Wakeley comes to Homewood-Flossmoor High School with 17 years experience as a superintendent. He currently is superintendent for the Bradley-Bourbonnais school district. He also served at Yorkville school district and at Genoa-Kingston school district.

Scott Wakeley was selected to serve as the District 233 superintendent-elect for the 2021-22 school year and will move into the superintendent’s position when Superintendent Von Mansfield retires in June 2022, subject to finalization of a contract at that time.

Wakeley comes to Homewood-Flossmoor High School with 17 years experience as a superintendent. He currently is superintendent for the Bradley-Bourbonnais school district. He also served at York school district and at Genoa-Kingston school district.

He is known around the state for his work on curriculum development and equity.

The vote was 6-1 with member Nate Legardy voting no. He proposed tabling the hiring to the next school board meeting, but no other member seconded the motion. 

Legardy said his comments were strictly about the process and not about any candidate. 

During the first round of interviews he said the board “didn’t use an evaluation tool nor did we use a structured assessment of the candidates.” He felt the search “had gone off the tracks,” particularly when looking at issues of diversity and he believes the finalists didn’t align with the board’s strategic plan.

After his appointment, Wakely addressed the board via Zoom thanking them for their confidence in him. He said he is excited to join the H-F team.

Wakeley also addressed Legardy’s concerns: “I appreciate the thoughtfulness for equity and diversity and inclusion. Those words don’t fall short on me understanding your passion and the work that needs to be done in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the district.”

Member Gerald Pauling, who serves as chair of the board’s Personnel Committee, said the search process had been rigorous and the educational consulting firm BWP & Associates, which worked with the board, was impressed with the stakeholder groups and input from the board to develop a vetting profile.

BWP used that to narrow the candidate pool and “we proceeded to interview a number of candidates over the past two weeks,” Pauling said.

“I will say that not only was our superintendent (Mansfield) praised very highly, but our process was praised very highly,” he stressed. “Key to our process and the profile that was developed was considerations around equity and culture and our values around diversity and inclusion” and questions around those topics were asked of the candidates.

Correction: Dr. Wakeley’s last name was misspelled in the first version of this story. The Chronicle apologizes for the error. 

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