The new superintendent for Lyons School District 103 will begin work in the district in two weeks instead of waiting until his previously planned start date of July 1. Monday night the District 103 school board voted 6-0 to amend the contract of Kristofer Rivera so that he can begin work early in District 103.
Rivera, currently the assistant superintendent for human resources for the Hammond, Indiana school district said that he is planning to start at District 103 on May 7.
Rivera is starting early at District 103 because co-interim superintendents Robert Madonia and Patrick Patt abruptly resigned earlier this month following the victory of the four candidates backed by Lyons Village President Christopher Getty in the April 2 school board election that will give the board majority to Getty backed candidates when the new board members are sworn in on April 30.
Madonia and Patt likely would have fired by the new majority.
Until Rivera arrives Human Resources Director Kim Ontiveros will serve as acting superintendent. Ontiveros, whose temporary appointment was approved by a 4-2 vote with Jorge Torres and Joanne Schaeffer voting no, will be paid an additional $400 a day on top of her regular $115,000 annual salary for her additional work as superintendent over the next two weeks. Ontiveros, who will leave the district this summer to take a new job in Aurora, is the only current district administrator who has a superintendent’s endorsement.
The district had been without a superintendent since April 16, the last day that Madonia and Patt were on the job. However, both Madonia and Patt came back to the district without pay on April 17 to help deal with the aftermath of the death by suicide of a George Washington Middle School seventh grader. Patt also helped out in the district on April 18.
The district badly needs leadership after a bitter election fight and the second death by suicide of a GWMS student in less than three months.
Rivera took a day off from his current job last week to help the district cope with the student’s suicide.
Rivera spoke briefly to the school board Monday evening after they voted to allow him to start early.
He vowed to change the atmosphere on the school board and to try to get the two factions to work together.
“I’m just so looking forward to it,” Rivera said. “My motivation is here.”