Niles Township High School District 219 (D219) is seeking an accomplished and equity focused leader to serve as Superintendent following the retirement of Dr. Steve Isoye, who has served the district with distinction since 2016. The mission states that D219 “is committed to providing an equitable learning environment that embraces diversity and individual student needs, while preparing students to achieve their full potential as a part of our global community.” Thus, the next educational leader must have a record of advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, in addition to working with diverse populations.
D219 serves the communities of Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, and Niles in Illinois. Niles North and Niles West High Schools are public, four-year comprehensive high schools with a combined enrollment of more than 4,600 students. The community enjoys close proximity to Chicago, as well as top universities such as Northwestern, Loyola and DePaul. The district also has a strong connection to arts and cultural aspects that only a large city has to offer.
Over 60 percent of students report that they speak a language other than English. More than 90 languages are spoken, with the most common being Urdu, Spanish, Assyrian and Arabic. Extracurricular programs help students expand their academic and social skills, meet new friends, and engage in positive experiences. There are 27 athletic teams and more than 90 clubs and activities in which students can participate.
In the 2019 US News and World Report Best High Schools in the Nation ranking, Niles North was 49th in the state and Niles West was 50th in the state. Niles West (8th) and Niles North (13th) were listed in Chicago Magazine’s issue of the Top Public High Schools in Cook County in 2018. D219 was named to College Board’s annual AP Honor Roll for increasing access to AP exams and improving student performance. It validates the important work the district is doing to make the schools more equitable by advancing all students into more rigorous courses and by working to eliminate disproportionate enrollment in classes by race. https://www.niche.com/k12/d/niles-township-community-high-school-district-no-219-il/
D219 is truly a destination district for any Superintendent, and serving this highly acclaimed and high profile district will require exemplary skills in leadership, a true understanding of how to meet the needs of diverse learners, and a commitment to honor and respect the values of the district and communities.
The Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education agreed unanimously to engage a firm to lead the process for a nationwide superintendent search. Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) was chosen based on a strong presentation, deep expertise, and national reach. Established in 1987, HYA is one of the oldest and largest search firms having assisted more than 1,400 school boards select exceptionally talented leadership in school systems across the nation, large and small, urban and rural. HYA’s reputation and experience make it one of the preeminent school search firms in the nation and a standard which others often emulate. HYA Associates are located across the country to conveniently serve clients and are thus uniquely qualified to bring local - as well as national - perspectives, knowledge, experience, and connections to each search. Working with HYA, the Board has agreed to structure their search in four phases:
ENGAGE | The Engage phase consists of designing and planning a process of engaging the Board and stakeholders through interviews, online surveys (available in world languages), and focus groups. Information from these interactions assists the Board in developing a leadership profile and selection criteria that match the priorities of the community and that meet the unique needs of the local district. This disciplined, inclusive and research-based approach ensures all stakeholders have the opportunity to be a part of the search process and provides valuable feedback about the school district based on HYA’s local research and professional understanding of the district’s standing in the broader marketplace.
RECRUIT | In the recruit phase, HYA has partnered with us to create a customized application, and will use its digital platforms to post the position. HYA is leveraging a network of more than 100 associates nationwide in identifying and recruiting candidates to match District 219 needs. HYA will screen and conduct reference checks on applicants, while top applicants will be given an initial 30-45 minute interview, followed by additional background searches that will be summarized in reports for the Board to review.
SELECT | The Select phase consists of providing the Board with a slate of candidates that were interviewed by HYA Associates using the Leadership Profile established by the Board. HYA Associates are committed to spending the necessary time and energy on the details to find the right candidates to bring to the Board. The search team then facilitates the Board interviews and appointment process including reviewing candidates’ references. HYA’s ability to gain important background information regarding candidates - beyond what appears on an individual’s resume - is a unique and distinguishing characteristic of HYA, and is attributable to the integrity of the firm, Associates, and the vast networks of professional relationships built through years in the education field. A workshop on interviewing and construction of interview questions is facilitated by the Associates for the Board. Executive due diligence, including third-party formal background and media checks, completes the Select phase.
TRANSITION | In the transition phase, the confirmed candidate who is selected to serve as the next District 219 superintendent will meet with the Board to begin the process of moving forward together as a team.
As the district begins its search for a new superintendent under the guidance of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), feedback from as many community members, parents, staff and students as possible is essential in directing the search for a highly qualified candidate to lead the district. Your input is valuable and will be shared with the Board of Education.
Please assist District 219 in the search process by completing this anonymous survey. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Urdu, Assyrian, Korean and Arabic. All answers will be kept completely confidential; survey responses go directly to the HYA offices in Illinois. Responses must be submitted by Monday, November 15.