Education

H-F superintendent search drawing diverse pool of candidates

The search for a new District 233 superintendent had 18 candidates as of mid-June with the majority being African Americans, according to Monica Santana Rosen, CEO of Alma Group which is leading the search.

“I’m not surprised, actually, because we think this is going to be a very popular role,” Rosen told the school board at its June 18 meeting. Alma’s process can be seen as more challenging and rigorous and it enables “more leaders of color and women (to emerge) as finalists.” 

She expects the board to start meeting candidates in August, September and into October. The board should be able to name a new superintendent before the December holiday break. The new superintendent will take the position in July 2025 following the retirement of Superintendent Scott Wakeley.

Rosen said the firm’s charge is to “lead the search process as transparent and inclusive” guided by input from the community. 

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She reported that the search team had conducted 17 meetings with 439 participants representing students, staff, Homewood-Flossmoor High School administrators, alumni and community members. Alma Group also had an online survey. Everyone who took part emphasized the importance of the high school to the community, she said. 

She assessed the top three H-F priorities as: attracting and retaining great diverse leaders and staff; supporting career and life readiness; and student and staff mental health and wellbeing. 

The top skills respondents said they want in a new superintendent are a great communicator and collaborator who can build on decisions and the newly adopted five-year strategic plan.

Rosen emphasized that “no community has a single point of view,” but she said after their interviews the search team recognized several factors:

  • Pride for H-F.
  • Perception of high staff ability and staff retention.
  • Incredible high quality and diversity of programming/extracurriculars.
  • Strong financial standing.
  • Great facilities.
  • The district values equity and inclusion. 
  • Diversity is seen as a strength.

Looking to the future, Rosen said the team sees H-F strengthening its academic performance and working closely with Flossmoor District 161 and Homewood District 153, the elementary districts that feed into H-F.

H-F can also work to diversify its workforce and increase professional training in diversity, equity and inclusion. Rosen noted that students want a more coherent mental health program and say their counselors aren’t always available.

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