LANSING | Sunnybrook Elementary District 171 has selected a retired Homewood school superintendent to serve as its interim chief administrator for the 2012-13 school year.
By a 4-3 vote during a special meeting last week, the School Board chose Barbara West to temporarily lead the Lansing-Lynwood school system following the June retirement of former District 171 Superintendent Joseph Majchrowicz.
West was chosen for the interim position over Majchrowicz. Both were interviewed for the job by board President David Lopez, Vice President Dennis Altgilbers and Secretary Solomon Davis.
Retired in 2004 as Homewood Elementary District 153 superintendent, West has decades of experience in the educational field and has served in other interim administrative capacities for schools.
She also is a senior associate with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the firm hired by District 171 to help search for a successor to Majchrowicz.
Board members Dirk Faber, Lance Lape and Kenneth Lynch favored hiring Majchrowicz as interim chief, while Lopez, Altgilbers, Davis and board member David Lilly cast dissenting votes.
Lopez, Altgilbers, Davis and Lilly then supported hiring West as interim superintendent, while Faber, Lape and Lynch voted against her selection. Both Lape and Faber say they have nothing against West but they think Majchrowicz was the best and most logical choice.
Lape also said he believes West’s work for HYA gave her an unfair advantage.
West said she spent only one day in the district on the search firm’s behalf, filling in for fellow HYA senior associate Bill Attea, one of the members of the search team. She also said she did not originally set out to become a candidate for the interim position.
Last month, West and fellow HYA consultant Lela A. Bridges-Webb, who also is a retired south suburban superintendent, provided the School Board with a list of desired superintendent characteristics and a leadership profile report. They also presented the findings of interviews and discussions with individuals and groups, and the results of an online superintendent profile survey.
West said she told Attea she enjoyed her work that day in District 171, and Attea subsequently presented the board with her resume along with Majchrowicz’s and four others’. The names of the others have not been released.
“I believe Dr. Majchrowicz was a better candidate without a doubt,” Lape told The Times. “My vote reflects my constituents’ opinions and desires."
Details of West’s contract, including her rate of pay, are still being worked out. She said she is very excited about the opportunity and she anticipates beginning her 100-day work stint this week.