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School district to name superintendent in Morrison

Girard leaving in May after 6 years

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 10:24 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 10:28 a.m. CDT

MORRISON – The Morrison school board is expected to hire a new superintendent at its meeting Monday.

In late May, that person will replace Suellen Girard, who became superintendent 6 years ago. She announced in 2011 that she would retire this year.

The board hired a search firm, which undertook a process that yielded about 30 applicants. The firm brought forward seven of them for the board to interview.

"It was not that they were the best," Girard said. "It was that they were the best match for what the community wants in a superintendent."

Of the seven candidates, the board named three finalists, she said.

To interview the finalists, the school district convened three teams – residents, school employees, and the board. A survey also was used to gauge what the community wanted in a superintendent, Girard said.

"They want someone pretty transparent," she said. "They want someone who is good with money. They want a good communicator."

The board's announcement at Monday's meeting will come after a closed session in which the board will finalize the contract with the new superintendent, Girard said.

That person is expected to attend the meeting, she said.

Girard's last day will be May 29; her successor will start the next day.

Typically, superintendents and other school employees work until June 30 – the end of the fiscal year. In this case, though, the district wanted to make the transition before the state's new pension law takes effect June 1, Girard said.

Girard, who was previously a superintendent of a suburban school district, said she plans to stay in Morrison.

"We love it here," she said. "This is a community I really felt a connection with."

To attend

The Morrison school board meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the superintendent's office at Morrison High School, 643 Genesee Ave.

At the meeting, the board is expected to select a new superintendent. A closed session will be held at the beginning of the meeting, in which the board plans to discuss the new superintendent's contract and labor negotiations.

Call the superintendent's office at 815-772-2064 for more information.

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