After school boards in Riverside District 96 have paid a combined $30,000 for a firm to find superintendent candidates the last two times one was needed, we’re all for a different approach to the superintendent search that the district is about to undertake.

Firms comprising retired school administrators have found a way to make a small fortune conducting these searches which, in Riverside’s case, haven’t panned out so well recently.

That’s why we’d certainly endorse the district looking at either enlisting the Illinois Association of School Boards to find candidates or hire the two-man team of David Bonnette and Dennis Kelly for the job.

Both Bonnette and Kelly understand what’s important to local residents. Bonnette is the former longtime District 96 superintendent, who also served a stretch as interim superintendent at Riverside-Brookfield High School. Kelly, meanwhile, was the superintendent at neighboring — and high-performing — Lyons Township High School District 204.

They are top educators who have a proven track record of making quality hires. Bonnette was responsible for picking District 96’s two interim chiefs and its curriculum director.

Bonnette is also a Riverside resident, who has seen up close what’s taken place over the past 10 years in the district. Whenever he’s been asked to step in and provide advice and leadership, he’s always provided solutions that have improved things.

Kelly and Bonnette are people a new and relatively inexperienced school board can trust to look out for the interests of the district. Before committing tens of thousands of dollars for another search firm, that should really be taken into account.