LOSTANT — As the Lostant School Board plans ahead for the retirement of its dual-role principal and superintendent, the district might need to prepare for some changes.
The district has been considering the upcoming retirement of Sandra Malahy and the necessary replacement, talking about searching out a replacement for the same dual role, but concerns about changes within the school system and availability pool could necessitate alterations to the plan.
“Looking at the amount of jobs that are vacant in the state of Illinois for superintendents and principals, I’m not sure we’ll find anyone with much experience,” Malahy said.
It could become necessary that the district hire out the positions separately, with discussions taking into account the possibility of a full-time principal and an interim superintendent.
One culprit of the changing landscape is the increased responsibilities for the positions over the years, especially for superintendents.
“Ten, 20 years ago, superintendents were just school district managers. They just managed things,” Malahy said.
Expectations changed within the past 10 years, with superintendents taking a more hands-on role in the district, and now responsibilities seem to be changing again.
“Now it’s shifting more into the political arena,” Malahy said.
“If you’re not involved in the politics in the state, you’re just going with the flow, and you’re not having a voice.”
To compound the difficulties of filling the position, the role keeps opening up in more locations: “Every year, more and more superintendents are retiring,” she said.
While the district has some time before a replacement is needed, as Malahy expects to retire in a year and a half, it still needs to figure out how to proceed and give enough time for applications and the interview process.
In other news, because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Lostant’s school board meeting has been moved to Monday night. The levy information is to be presented at this meeting and then voted on the following month.