The Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 Board of Education will vote to hire a new principal for S.E. Gross Middle School at its meeting scheduled for tomorrow night, June 15, at the middle school, 3524 Maple Ave. in Brookfield.

School board members on May 31 met in a closed session to settle on a top candidate. According to Thomas Hurlburt, S.E. Gross’ current principal and the district’s future superintendent, two candidates were to be interviewed on May 31, but one of them “respectfully withdrew” from the process. The board then voted to begin contract negotiations with the remaining candidate, who was not identified.

The new middle school principal will begin work on July 1, Hurlburt said. That is the same day Hurlburt will take the reins as superintendent, replacing Douglas Rudig, who submitted his resignation last fall and earlier this year accepted the job as superintendent of Elmwood Park Unit School District 401. Rudig has been District 95’s superintendent since 2000, and hiring Hurlburt as S.E. Gross’ principal was one of Rudig’s first major decisions.

Soon after Rudig announced his resignation, Hurlburt became the front-runner to replace him, receiving public support from Dist. 95 teachers and parents as well as his colleague, Brook Park School Principal Claudia Newman. The Dist. 95 board never posted the superintendent’s position outside the district, and agreed to hire Hurlburt as Rudig’s replacement on March 23.

The school board immediately posted the middle school principal position, and Hurlburt said he received a total of 31 resumes. From that number, Hurlburt settled on eight candidates. Later the top three candidates were interviewed by committees comprised of teachers, parents and other district staff.

“We looked for individuals who had outstanding character and integrity,” Hurlburt said. “We also looked for people who had a great knowledge of the middle school model and would be able to move the building forward within our strategic plan.”