District 95 posts superintendent job, but just internally

Decision could come by early March

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By BOB UPHUES

Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95 officially posted an opening for its superintendent position last Friday, but posted it only internally. The board voted unanimously to accept applications for the position until Feb. 24 "or until the position is filled."

The board also set the minimum salary level for the new superintendent at $125,000, after looking at salaries in neighboring and other Chicago area districts.

Brookfield-Lyons District 103, which is also searching for a new superintendent, has also set its salary level for a new superintendent at $125,000.

According to board President James Landahl, during that two-week period, the district will form a superintendent interview committee made up of staff and district parents. Superintendent Douglas Rudig said that a letter soliciting volunteers for the committee will be sent home with students this week.

That group is expected to interview S.E. Gross Middle School Principal Thomas Hurlburt, who has expressed interest in the position, and who appears to already have wide support among staff, parents and even village officials.

At the board's regular meeting on Feb. 9, board Secretary Charles Snyder read several more letters in support of Hurlburt's application for the superintendent's post, including one from Brookfield Police Chief Thomas Schoenfeld, who commended Hurlburt for his cooperation with and support for police education programs.

Landahl said that the parent/faculty committee would likely meet with Hurlburt shortly after the internal posting deadline ends on Feb. 24. The board of education would them interview Hurlburt before making a recommendation to either hire him or seek outside applicants for the job.

A decision either way could come as early as the week of March 6, Landahl said.

If, indeed, Hurlburt is hired as Rudig's replacement, the board would then be faced with finding a replacement for Hurlburt at S.E. Gross School. However, Landahl said the board will be in no hurry to find a permanent replacement, and could opt to hire an administrator on an interim basis while the board completes a thorough search for a new full-time principal.

"We could get an interim for one year or six months," Landahl said. "There are a lot of good quality people out there that would buy us another year. By no means are we in a hurry."

Rudig, who has served as District 95's superintendent since 2000, announced his resignation from the post, effective June 30, back in October 2005, citing "personal and professional reasons."

On July 1, Rudig will take over the reins as superintendent of Elmwood Park Unit District 401, which serves 4,800 students and operates an early childhood learning center, two elementary schools, a middle school and Elmwood Park High School.

Hurlburt, who was hired to lead S.E. Gross Middle School in 2001 after two years as assistant principal at Park Junior High in LaGrange Park, is currently working toward his Ph.D. at Aurora University and holds a superintendent's certificate.

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