Schools: Board names interim superintendent, Bob Evans replacement
By Jim Hagerty
The city’s public schools will have new chief going into the 2011-12 academic year after a 4-2 vote named an interim replacement for Dr. LaVonne M. Sheffield at the Tuesday, May 24 meeting of the Rockford Board of Education.
After a background check and approved contract, Robert Willis, a former superintendent in Des Plaines and Rock Island, will take Sheffield’s place until a permanent district head is hired.
Willis is also the former executive director of the local American Red Cross chapter. He retired from that position in last year.
It is unclear how long Willis will serve as superintendent. However, he could be at the helm for a year or longer.
Board President Harmon Mitchell and Secretary Lisa Jackson voted no to hire Willis.
Willis, who will start in the fall, was chosen over three finalists. Robert Luckett, a retired district head from Robinson, Ill.; Craig Fiegel, a superintendent in Michigan; and former District 205 administrator Janet Jones were in the running before Tuesday.
Acting Superintendent Theresa Kallstrom will remain at her post until Willis takes the reigns. Kallstrom has been in the position since Sheffield stepped down last month.
As the Flinn Middle School audience of approximately 60 roared with applause, Ronnell Moore, who works for Rock River Training Corps., was appointed to the vacant Sub District-E board seat. Moore was among five who took part in a candidate forum Saturday, May 21.
The Rockford Board of Eduction meets every Tuesday. Because of space constraints, officials have held recent public meetings at larger venues including Ellis Arts Academy.
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