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D135 Taking on Soustek For Superintendent Search

The Orland School District 135 Board of Education discussed terms of taking on former superintendent Dennis Soustek as consultant for their permanent superintendent search during Monday's committee meeting. Board members also looked over the new budget.

They just can’t keep Dennis Soustek away.

board members want to keep the former superintendent working as a consultant while they seek a permament superintendent to helm the district.

Soustek was superintendent from 2006 to 2010. He came out of retirement in January to work as interim superintendent after . Soustek worked just under the maximum 100 business days between January and June, and considered serving as acting super for another 100-day stint after the board was . He declined and the board hired .

But since Kunst plans on applying for the permanent position, D135 board members said they wanted to bring Soustek back as a consultant for $60 an hour during Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. The board will formally vote on it during its Sept. 10 meeting.

Soustek told the board he would likely not work more than 100 hours on the project and it would be up to the board to decide how much they use him.

“If you want more involvement or less involvement from me, that’s fine,” he said. “There are four applications so far and I haven’t looked at them yet.”

Kunst said she would apply before the Sept. 21 deadline, which is why Soustek was kept on board.

“There are some tasks a superintendent or interim superintendent perform during searches that Carol can’t perform be because she is applying,” Board President John Carmody said. “Dennis is going to fill in that void. He could be in when we conduct interviews but he can’t ask questions. He’s really augmenting the process.”

Kunst, who holds six college degrees and was a recent superintendent of Burbank School District 111, said she has enjoyed her time working with D135 and hopes to make it a long-term venture.

“I love this area,” she said. “I’m very familiar with the dynamics of the Orland Park and Orland Hills communities. I’ve spent a lot of time in the area and my children participated in some programs here. I’m excited about being here.”

New School Year's Budget

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services John Reiniche unveiled the tentative budget for the year, calling for spending $76.7 million with $77.1 expected in revenues.

The past school year called for $73.9 million and two years ago it was $70.8.

The bulk of the budget is $43 million for salaries.

Technology spending is planned to be higher than years past, but not as much as last year. Reiniche said that in the past, $300,000 was usually budgeted for technology. Last year, it spiked to $750,000 and this year it’s $620,000. New computers and software will be eating a large chunk of that figure, he said.

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Laura Hynes August 22, 2012 at 05:02 PM
In that 66% of our property tax bill goes to area schools, I was wondering how much teachers get paid? While I am in favor of a fair wage, some in Orland Park may have to consider downsizing their homes if our taxes continue to increase each year.
FC August 24, 2012 at 02:45 AM
As a supporter of the current board I have grave reservations regarding the interim superintendent. After doing some basic research online I cannot endorse the interim super for permanent status due to district hopping and 2 years of contentious leadership in Burbank district 111. The total experience of leading a like district in size and budget is one year (plus a self admitted year as a lame duck); I am not comfortable adding a permanent label to this candidate regardless of the credentials presented, which admittedly, are quite impressive. Also, was what was communicated in the patch interview accurate (regarding leaving 111) entirely accurate? Didn't the interim super fight to stay at 111 when voted out in May? Could someone please ask the hard questions on why the interim super wasn't renewed? We need leadership, not another retread from the incestuous hiring protocol of higher level school leaders. Orland 135 board of ed, please ask some hard questions and bring in a leader we can be confident in; this is why I supported you and intend to do so again, for making prudent decisions.
FC August 24, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Jeff, Ben do a little homework please on this. This issue is far too important not to check up on.
FC August 24, 2012 at 02:56 AM
And of course, all of my posts are my opinion, purely my opinion!

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