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Plainfield Schools to Name New Superintendent

Associate superintendent will “shadow” Supt. John Harper for the 2013-14 school year before taking the reins.

Two months after announcing its search for a new superintendent, the District 202 Board of Education will meet tomorrow in special session to appoint John Harper’s successor.

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The new associate superintendent will “shadow” current superintendent Harper for the 2013-14 school year and take over the role when Harper retires in July 2014, according to Director of Community Relations Tom Hernandez.


In September, the board announced it was inviting area superintendents to apply for the position.

Calling it a “very limited search,” board president Roger Bonuchi said it was important to the board to “pick someone who is from Illinois, who is local to Will County.”

Harper, who started his career as a social studies teacher at Indian Trail Middle School in 1981, has been superintendent since 2002.

In October, two committees — one comprised of District 202 administrators and the other of parents and school staff — interviewed candidates hoping to succeed Harper.

According to District 202 documents, Harper's base salary for the 2011-12 school year was $270,446, plus an additional $49,007 in benefits.

The special meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the District 202 administration center, 15732 Howard St. The agenda also includes orientation for prospective board of education candidates for the April 2013 consolidated election.

The filing period for candidates begins Dec. 17 and ends Dec. 26. Four seats, each carrying a four-year term, are up for election. 


  • District 202 Begins Search for New Superintendent
  • Administrator Salaries: How Do Nearby School Districts Stack Up? Plainfield District 202 Continues Superintendent Search


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Sheila Raddatz December 06, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Personally, I think the school board is acting on the better interest of our children's education. With about 30 schools in our district, the transition period is warranted.
Tim December 06, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Accomplishments? Significantly more than half the schools in D202 didn't even meet state progress standards. The district as a whole has completely failed to meet adequate yearly progress standards. There is nothing special about 'Plainfield Schools'. That was just an advertizing slogan used to sell homes. Look for yourself, and find me a SINGLE category where D202 meets state standards; http://iirc.niu.edu/District.aspx?source=Comparison&source2=Scatter_Plots&districtID=56099202022&level=D Use evidence to support your claims, don't just make up a story that you would like to be true, and then repeat it thinking it will somehow make it true.
EdCenter December 06, 2012 at 03:39 PM
The issue of higher salary ranges for top education administration jobs does not rest with Plainfield alone. It is a result of the overall trend of richer benefits and salaries being the norm across the spectrum of the educational industry. We could have drawen a line in the sand by offering a lower tier salary hoping that by chance we somehow attracted a 'diamond in the rough' type candidate who takes the job and exceeds expectations, but do we really want our community to be the test case for this kind of an approach? The somewhat above average quality of our schools is really one of the only things Plainfield has consistently going for it right now. I also think those charged with organizing the search probably took a wise approach by focusing on local candidates first. If you cast a wider net right out of the gate, you are more likely to wind up with someone who has no real commitment to the long term success and stability of our district. Let’s hope instead we get someone who is well established in the area and wants to truly work in the best interests of the community and its students. If the new superintendent achieves great results and continues to make Plainfield an attractive market for new residents and established local families, will anyone legitimately be complaining that the salary is too high and the transition period was too long?
Ron December 06, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Here's someone who just wants to hear 'good stuff'. You sound just like all those people who pray. You should take a look at all of the salaries paid by the school district and see how big some pay raises have actually been. This school distrist has accomplished to dole out huge raises, increase property taxes, and give huge property tax breaks to big corporations and developers. Keep telling yourself that the school district has actually accomplished something just like when you pray. It does nothing but fool yourself. www.openthebooks.com
holeinone December 07, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Thanks Tim for the information on how D202 has excelled under Mr. Haper. His picture says it all - smiling all the way to the bank!


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