LT searches for new superintendent

LT hires search firm to help narrow applicants down for school board

Kate Ferrell, Website Editor

With superintendent Timothy Kilrea’s retirement taking effect June 30, 2021, the search for a new superintendent for the fall of 2021 is underway. The school board is using a district search firm for assistance in finding a new superintendent, according to

 “We do many things in the process to find new staff members, such as online job postings when we have a vacancy, as well as interviews and screenings,” Director of Human Resources Edward Piotrowski said. “However, the LT Board of Education thought it would be appropriate to utilize the services of an executive search firm in terms of finding a new superintendent. ”

Since the role of the superintendent is to oversee the operations of the school district and makes sure everything is running smoothly, it is very important to hire someone with integrity, a strong sense of leadership, commitment and the desire to work with students to provide the best education, Piotrowski said. 

“Different schools each serve a different population of students, and at LT we want a superintendent who has the best interest of high school students in mind, Pitrowski said. “[Someone] to make opportunities available to students and who is willing to think outside the box to what education looks like.” 

The search for a new superintendent started in October. The search firm first met with the board of education to develop a timeline for the process moving forward. The first part of the process focused on gathering information by having the search firm put out a posting, allowing interested applicants the chance to reach out to them about the available position, Piotrowski said. 

The board of education has also developed focus groups with members of the community to meet in small groups with the search firm to discuss what qualities and characteristics the community values in a superintendent, Piotrowski said. On Dec. 3, a community forum was held over Zoom.

“The forum gave community members the opportunity to hear from the search firm and provide input to the smaller focus groups,” Piotrowski said. 

Prior to the Dec. 3 community forum, the Lyons Township advisory council discussed what qualities they wanted to see in the new superintendent, Piotrowski said. 

Community Relations Coordinator, Jennifer Bialbok, who prepared the job advertisement and brochure, was interviewed by the search firm about qualities that she looks for in a superintendent and what the district’s current and future challenges might be, she said.

[A] superintendent has to be a leader with vision, set and maintain excellent standards for the district, and should surround him/herself with qualified, hard-working people and give those people the autonomy to do their jobs,” Bialbok said. 

There was also a survey available on the school website that closed on Nov. 9 for students, teachers and parents to select what characteristics they wish to see in the new staff member. 

Once all these things take place, the search firm develops a leadership profile and presents it to the board of education, Piotrowski said.

After the search firm has organized a leadership profile, they begin to screen candidates. 

The search firm is separate from the school district and the number of applicants is kept confidential until the search firm approaches the board with the finalist. Following the preliminary interviews with the applicants, the Board of Education steps in and holds its own formal interviews and will ultimately determine the new superintendent, Piotrowski said. 

“When the board finalizes the process and is ready to bring on the new superintendent, the next step is to give the community a chance to meet him/her,” Piotrowski said.  

The search process will end around mid-spring to allow the board of education to make an announcement, Piotrowski said. The new superintendent’s first official day will be July 1, 2021.