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Cecilia Heiberger

Cecilia Heiberger, superintendent, Lansing School District 158, Illinois

A national search and consulting firm will help Lansing Elementary School District 158 find its next superintendent.

Superintendent Cecilia Heiberger, who has filled that role since 2009, announced in August this school year will be her last with the district.

The school board on Wednesday selected School Exec Connect from among three firms it had interviewed.

Board President Robert Bonifazi said the firm chosen has had a 97 percent success rate in placing superintendents who have remained in their positions for over five years and the board was impressed with the firm's presentation.

"Based on the criteria that the board sets, they will do the initial interviews," Bonifazi said.

The board will then interview the finalists and Bonifazi said the goal is to choose a new superintendent no later than April.

Bonifazi said School Exec Connect will charge an escalating fee that would max out at $18,000.

The board will have to hire another special education teacher after approving the resignation of Corie Rivera from that position at Memorial Junior High School.

"We're using a temporary sub right now," Heiberger said.

Bonifazi said the timing is not conducive to finding a replacement quickly.

"At the beginning of the school year, it's a little bit more of a challenge to have qualified candidates available because they're all typically employed at that point," he said.

During Wednesday's meeting, the board watched a video that had aired on WGN Channel 9 regarding the selection of Memorial Junior High School science teacher Alison Schroeder as Teacher of the Month for September.

St. Xavier University sponsors the award and Schroeder earned a $1,000 prize for her efforts.

In the video, Schroeder said she takes time to get to know her students on an individual basis and attempts to bring positivity and energy into her classroom so students want to be there each day.

She was nominated for the award by student Kevin Murdock.