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L-W District 210 Superintendent's Succession Process

Lincoln-Way High School District 210 Board of Education evaluated six candidates for the job of superintendent.

The Lincoln-Way High School District 210 Board of Education, almost two years ago, began talking about the succession of .

Due to the expected changes in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), Wyllie told the board in earnest six months ago that he wanted to retire in June 2013. With 54 years of service in, plus two years of unused sick time, Wyllie has logged a total of 56 years in education. The state allows $25 a day for unused sick time. But the maximum is 50 days. That's $1,250, said Johnson.

Since the district does not have an "accrue" policy, the two years "means nothing for Larry," said .

"For Larry, there is no advantage" to having stacked up unused vacation time. At LWHS Dist. 210, if vacation days are not used, they're lost, he said.   

LWH Dist. 210 also affords no large "lump-sum" payout upon retirement, he said.

Veteran Board Member Jim Gast said, "We've known it was coming. The man is 75 years old." The first thing the board did was identify the kind of leadership it wanted to run the four high schools in the 105-square-mile district.

"The board believes in advancing the 'Lincoln Way,'" which is characterized as someone who knows the community and the ideals that the district supports,  Johnson said. The ideals advanced at the district are academic success and fiscal responsibility.

"The board has followed a policy of developing and advancing Lincoln-Way personnel who believe in this strong work ethic, fiscal responsibility, and servant leadership approach," he said in a statement.  

Johnson said the board has spent a great deal of time planning for the future of the district.

"Whether at athletic or performing arts events, celebrations of academics or honors society inductions, senior citizen events, chambers of commerce business expos or community parades—the board has listened to the Lincoln-Way community about the importance of finding a superintendent that would understand and respect the district's traditions but not be afraid to lead in his or her own way," he said.

The primary emphasis of the search was finding someone who understood the "culture of Lincoln-Way," according to Gast. Working off that notion as the primary objective in the search of a new superintendent, he said, the board focused on existing staff.

Board interviews and candidates

The superintendent's job was never publicly posted because the retirement announcement was not intended to be made public until Dec. 13, said Johnson. In September, the board initiated the interview process. A total of six candidates from the district were evaluated by the board in closed session, he said. It was a personnel matter, so the interviews were conducted in executive session.

The list narrowed to two, and the name of Scott Tingley, the superintendent-to-be and former principal at Lincoln-Way East High School, rose to the top, according to Johnson.   

"Had we felt that the candidates were not qualified, we would have" conducted and outside search, he said.   

"Scott Tingley is ready for the job," added Johnson.  He was officially offered the job at the end of November. Johnson said he sees the six month transition period between Wyllie's announcement to retire and Tingley's takeover as positive. It gives Tingley time to adjust before taking over in full.

Tingley, 40, has worked for Lincoln-Way for 16 years. He began his teaching career at Lincoln-Way High School in 1994, teaching business and social science. He also coached boys’ basketball in his early years.

“The Board of Education believes that Tingley is the right person at the right time to lead District 210 forward – building upon not only its strong culture and tradition of success but also its core belief that ‘great is never good enough,” said Johnson.

In 2001, Tingley left Lincoln-Way to coach varsity basketball at Lemont High School and to serve as dean of students. He returned to Lincoln-Way in 2004 to teach economics and to serve as a dean. In 2006, he was named assistant principal at Lincoln-Way Central.

The following year, he assumed the duties of associate principal at Lincoln-Way East. While he was an assistant/associate principal he worked at three different high schools with four different principals, including Monica Schmitt when she was the principal of Lincoln-Way Central, Dr. Michael Gardner when he was the principal of Lincoln-Way East, and Dr. Brenda Jensen, former principal of Lincoln-Way East.

In 2009, Tingley was named director of personnel for the district. In 2011, he was named principal of Lincoln-Way East High School. At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Tingley will have served two years as principal.

“Each position Dr. Tingley has served in has more than prepared him for the superintendency of Lincoln-Way High School District 210. His experience has given him insight into district-wide issues and district personnel, student achievement, the classroom, athletic and activities, and discipline of students,” noted Johnson.  

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Walker Percy December 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Time passed Jim Gast by many years ago, and he hasn't realized it. He likes to think things are the same today as they were in the 1950s when he was growing up here and "authority figures" just told you what to do and you did it. That's not how things work in the 21st century, Jim. It's not about whether the board knew Larry was going to retire at some point--obviously, he was! It's about the fact that for at least 6 months, this board has definitely known Larry was leaving in June 2013, and they kept this hidden from the public until the deal was already done. They can interview people in executive session but the public should still know that the process is taking place. The way this board did things is not how local government should work. Input from the community and a formal search process is essential for there to be confidence in the decisions made. When people like Gast and Johnson talk about "the Lincoln Way" what they mean is the right for them to continue doing whatever they want in secret and then not expecting anybody to dare to question them afterwards.
had enough December 20, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Well said Percy !!!!
DJK December 20, 2012 at 07:24 PM
This whole thing just keeps getting better & better! Let me be clear, this post is not about his job performance, it's about the process and the board. Johnson states Wyllie tells the board six months ago he plans to retire in June, but I read in another post that you need to give notice 18 months in advance. His retirement was not to be made public until now, but regular teachers retirement requests are listed in the meeting minutes at the time they requested retirement. As a district employee shouldn't his request be listed in the minutes as well? Was it? Johnson states personnel issues are discussed in closed session but again, hiring, resignations, retirements etc. are shown in the meeting minutes. Are these not personnel issues as well and if so, they should be discussed in closed session. Johnson goes on to state the position was never publically posted, yet they interview six candidates in "excutive" session. How did they find out about the position? By the way, meeting minutes are on line at District 210 web site. For all the people that think nothing has been done that is out of line, why do you think this article was released? Think it has anything to do with the questions being asked about how this all went down? I think the board is tap dancing like Ginger Rogers and Danny Kay! As somebody replied on another post, everything they have done is legal. However, they sure are going out of their way to explain, and that has never been the "Lincoln Way".
Grace Hopper December 20, 2012 at 09:22 PM
It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.

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