This is a big week for the Barrington 220 School District as the Board of Education (BOE) prepares to vote on whether to approve the contract for the district’s new Superintendent of Schools.
The vote will happen during the Board of Education meeting scheduled from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12. The meeting will be held in-person at the District Administrative Center, 515 W. Main Street. Due to current tier 3 mitigation restrictions that limit the number of people in a meeting to 10 or less, the easiest way to join the meeting is virtually. Click here for the agenda and HERE to watch the session live on Barrington 220’s YouTube channel.
Here’s a Quick Look Back at Barrington 220’s Superintendent Search Timeline:
- June 2, 2020
During the Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting on June 2nd, the Board shared that, after more than 30 years in public education, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian Harris will retire at the end of his contract on June 30, 2021. Dr. Harris is currently serving his 7th year as Superintendent of Schools in Barrington 220. The Board also approved hiring the firm School Exec Connect to help select the district’s next leader.
- November 17, 2020
During its Nov. 17 meeting, the Board heard a presentation from School Exec Connect about the community feedback which was used to develop a New Superintendent Profile. Click here to read the full report.
- October & November, 2020
In October and November, School Exec Connect conducted 14 virtual focus groups and collected information from more than 800 people through an online questionnaire to gather the community input.
- December, 2020
In December School Exec Connect conducted interviews and reference checks using the New Superintendent Profile and recommended candidates to the Board. The Board then conducted interviews to select a finalist.
- January 12, 2021
The Board of Education will vote on whether to approve the contract for the new superintendent, who is expected to be begin work on July 1, 2021 after the expiration of Dr. Harris’ contract on June 30, 2021.
Board of Education President, Penny Kazimer, who is retiring from the Board this spring, says 33 people applied for the position before the Board narrowed the pool of candidates to 1 person after a series of interviews in December.
This will be the third Barrington 220 Superintendent hired during Penny Kazmier’s 16 years on the BOE. She says the board had more time to solicit & weigh community feedback and conduct a thorough search compared to the last superintendent’s departure after giving notice just months before the end of the school year.
“Dr. Leonard gave us notice right before spring break that he would be leaving at the end of the school year so we had to really scramble. I don’t think we were able to have as much community engagement. As board members we believe we are well aware of the district’s strengths and weaknesses, but it’s always valuable to know how the community views these things. In the end, you try to select the individual who is best for the district based on the community’s feedback and district’s needs as assessed by the Board.”
“I believe our district has a strong desire to return to normal. I think we all feel that normal is being back to how things were 12 months ago,” Kazimer says. “There are things we are going to learn from our experience this past year, some good, some bad. My hope is that the new leadership of our district can take all of that information and make wise decisions about moving forward.”
Kazimer also says she’s optimistic about what’s to come in Barrington 220 this next year and beyond, especially with help from the community in containing the spread of Covid-19. “I hope that we’re able to return to hybrid and stay there and possibly progress to more in-person learning. In order for us to do that, we have to make sure our community spread stays low. So it really does take a village.”
It’ll be exciting to learn more about the future of Barrington 220’s leadership together during the Board meeting on Tuesday night. If you’d like to attend, it is recommended that you do so virtually due to tier 3 mitigation restrictions limiting the number of people in a meeting to 10 or less. Also on the agenda for Tuesday night are a review and discussion of board policies, fees, summer school programming and a bond hearing, among other items.
Formed in 1973, Barrington Community Unit School District 220 educates over 9,000 students at one high school, two middle schools (grades 6-8), eight elementary schools, and one early childhood center. District 220 encompasses 72 square miles in 4 counties and covers 12 villages: all of Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes; and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, Deer Park, Fox River Grove, Port Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, North Barrington, and South Barrington. Learn more at Barrington220.org.