GLENWOOD | Brookwood Elementary District 167 approved the hiring of new Superintendent Valorie Moore at Monday night's board meeting.
Moore will officially begin July 1 when current superintendent Pamela Hollich retires.
"I'll be doing a lot of listening for the first 90 days. I'll listen to all stakeholders," Moore said. "That's how you come up with a plan."
The district's search for a new leader began in January. It included focus groups aided by the Illinois Association of School Boards, an online survey of parents and several special board meetings to interview and discuss those who applied.
"I've heard some awesome things about our staff, about our community," Moore told the board. "I wanted to come here because you believe in one thing: Kids, and putting kids first."
The biggest challenges facing the district, as Moore sees them, are financial. The School Board approved a 4.9 percent increase in its tax levy for 2012 in December.
Voters approved a referendum proposal in November that allows the sale of bonds to raise $15.8 million to build a new school to replace Brookwood Middle School. The new building is planned to open in 2015.
"As with any other district, there have been so many cuts," Moore said. "I'll have to take a look at the finances and implement new strategies."
Moore has been in education for 30 years. Her last position was as superintendent for Lindop District 92. She also served as assistant superintendent for Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and was director of curriculum and personal development at Carpentersville District 300.
Moore has a doctorate in education administration from Roosevelt University. She began her career in 1983 as a fine arts teacher at Evanston Township High School.
"I'm coming for the kids," she said. "I'll put children in front of every decision I make."
Hollich spent eight years as superintendent.