The Riverside Elementary School District 96 Board of Education has selected a firm to conduct its search for a new superintendent.

At its June 12 meeting, the school board voted to hire Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) to conduct the search for a successor to Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson. The search process is expected to last about six months, and the new superintendent is expected to begin work on July 1, 2013.

School board President Mary Ellen Meindl said that the board would like to hire someone for the position “by the first of next year.”

HYA is very familiar with the area, having led the searches that brought Kevin Skinkis and Pamela Byslma to Riverside-Brookfield High School and Lamberson to District 96.

District 96 agreed to pay HYA a fee of $15,500 to conduct the search, receiving a $2,000 discount as a returning customer. District 96 will also have to pay about $1,500 in consultant expenses and between $1,500 and $2,500 in advertising costs, according to the HYA proposal.

If the superintendent found by HYA does not serve at least one year at District 96 HYA will redo the search for free. HYA also promised not to present the eventual hire to another school district for five years without prior authorization from the District 96 school board.

“We felt they had a nice discovery process that will involve all the stakeholders in our school district,” Meindl said. “In our opinion, they seemed to have the right connections and they seem to have a depth of experience in having worked with similar high-performing school districts. We felt they were price competitive. We were able to negotiate a lower fee.”

HYA was not the low bidder of the four search firms the school board interviewed. BWP & Associates offered to conduct the search for $13,900, but school board members felt more comfortable with HYA.

“They seem to have the most experience in the area we’re looking,” said school board member Jennifer Leimberer. “Some of the firms did not seem to have the contacts in this regional area.”

The school board will meet this summer with HYA to plan the search.

HYA will actively seek community input, Meindl said. There will likely be community meetings and an online survey.

“We will give multiple opportunities for people to be involved in the process,” Meindl said.