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IASB Board Names Executive Director-Select
February 27, 2012

The Illinois Association of School Boards will have a new executive director later this year. Roger Eddy of Hutsonville was chosen by the Association board of directors at their quarterly meeting Feb. 26.

Eddy, 53, will assume the position July 1. Eddy will replace Michael D. Johnson, who will retire June 30 after nearly 12 years as the Association’s CEO.

“This has been a very long, but very productive process,” said IASB Past President Joseph Alesandrini, who led the board’s search committee.

“We had many qualified candidates and we are confident that we made the right choice to lead the Association and its member school districts,” he continued. “The transition will be completed over the next four months, which should give the executive director-select, board of directors, staff, and members adequate time to prepare and adjust to the change in leadership.”

Eddy has spent the last 15 years as superintendent of Hutsonville CUSD 1.   His career includes 31 years in education, as a superintendent, principal and teacher. Since 2003, Eddy has also served five terms as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly.

“I am very honored to be chosen to represent IASB,” Eddy said. “This is a great opportunity and challenge. This is a great association and I look forward to serving in this capacity.”

Eddy is married to Rebecca Eddy. The couple has five children and two grandchildren.

The executive director-select was reared in Newark and attended Newark public schools. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1981 and earned his master’s degree in 1986 and specialist’s degree in 1996 from Eastern Illinois University.

As executive director, Eddy will lead a staff of 75 full- and part-time staff members in the Association’s Springfield and Lombard offices. He will be responsible for all Association operations and represent its positions in state and national public school management policy on behalf of 852 member districts and nearly 6,000 elected Illinois school board members.

As executive director-select, Eddy will be the Association’s sixth full-time CEO since 1943. He will begin the transition soon, according to Alesandrini.

“Roger will get to know our board and staff and eventually all of our member districts. I know that Dr. Johnson will be a great assistant in that process,” he said.

During Johnson’s tenure at IASB, the Association has seen its staff more than double, its membership increase to all-time highs and the completion of several capital construction programs. Alesandrini also credited Johnson for his entrepreneurial fundraising ability and for developing state and national partnerships.

Johnson, who plans to work with Ronald McDonald House Charities in his retirement, said he has worked with Eddy often over the past 12 years.

“I have known Roger for many years and he has been a champion for public education as a state legislator. I know as executive director he will be a champion for the Association and its member school boards,” Johnson said.

The e xecutive director-select will be the Association’s sixth full-time executive director since 1943. Past executives include Robert M. Cole (1943-1968), B.B. Burgess (1969-1973), Harold P. Seamon (1973-1989), Wayne L. Sampson (1989-2000), and Johnson (2000-2012).

Search process

The IASB board of directors launched a national search for the position in February 2011, after Johnson formally notified the board of his intentions. Applications were accepted until Sep. 30, and according to Alesandrini, there were many inquiries and applications received from across the U.S.

Criteria for the new executive director were developed in part from surveys taken of IASB staff and the Association board of directors, division officers, local board presidents and the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance partners.

The criteria indicated that candidates should have “the appropriate education and experience in organizational leadership, working with a volunteer board, knowledge of major issues facing public education, strong communication skills, and the ability to work with diverse cultures of rural, suburban and urban constituents.”

The search committee, chaired by Alesandrini, included the following directors: then-vice president Carolyne Brooks, then-treasurer Dane Tippett, Southwestern division; Ben Anderson, Northwest; Karen Fisher, Starved Rock; Tom Neeley, Central Illinois Valley; Roger Pfister, Shawnee; Dale Hansen, Three Rivers; Joanne Osmond, Lake; Rosemary Swanon, DuPage; and Joanne Zendol, West Cook.

Alesandrini said the search committee screened internal and external candidates and narrowed the list for potential interviews. Finalist interviews took place in December and January. The two finalist candidates were interviewed by the board of directors on Feb. 25 in Chicago.

“We are very pleased to successfully conclude this process,” Alesandrini said. “We believe that the broad representation and diversity of membership on our board of directors assures that we have made the best decision possible on behalf of our entire membership.”

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