District 51 may hire new leader from within

School District 51 will first look inward to find a replacement for departing Superintendent Tim Mills.

Board members voted unanimously Tuesday night to seek Mills’ replacement from among current district employees.

“We’re headed in a great direction” and the current employees are best suited to continue the path set out by Mills, board President Leslie Kiesler said.

The board accepted Mills’ resignation at the same meeting.

Employees have until April 15 to apply to the board.

The new superintendent will have a new school in the district when school opens for the 2009-10 school year.

The board also voted unanimously to establish a school on Glade Park.

Glade Park resident Ed Cherry will donate land off DS Road and a residential modular building to house a kindergarten-through-second-grade school to begin the project.

Donors whose identities weren’t announced will provide land nearby and a building for the permanent school.

The district will spend a maximum of $25,000 to revamp the modular into a usable classroom and lease it for a maximum of $20,000 for the year.

The Glade Park School will grow by a grade a year until it runs through fifth grade.

Organizers said they believed the school would begin with 15 to 20 students in the coming school year.

The school will offer “place-based education” that will allow students to be raised in the landscape and neighborhood in which they live, organizer Tree Humbert said.

It also will eliminate bus rides of as long as 90 minutes for some students to Wingate Elementary School, meaning they spend about three hours a day on the bus.

“That’s a lot for young bodies,” Humbert said.

The district will provide a teacher and full-time aide for the school.

The board took several short-term measures to deal with specific instances of overcrowding, such as deciding to buy two new modular classrooms for Rim Rock Elementary School for $300,000 and agreeing to spend about $400,000 to expand the old, undersized kitchen at Central High School.


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