Guss said the board met to discuss filling the position for the upcoming school year, for which classes begin Aug. 16, and determined Olson and Kim were the best options to shoulder superintendent responsibilities for the 2017-18 school year.
He said the district likely will hire an outside search firm to find a permanent superintendent between now and the 2018-19 school year, and expects the board to begin interviewing candidates by Christmas.
“It was tricky,” Guss said of filling the role on short notice. “It was stressful in that school starts Monday and we’ve got to have something in place for Monday, but the fact that we have as many quality people [in the district] as we do made it a lot easier.”
Guss said details of Olson’s and Kim’s contracts – specifically their salaries – had not yet been determined, but he expects to receive those figures and to approve both contracts at next Tuesday’s regularly scheduled board meeting.
An administrator and teacher salary and benefits report posted on the district’s website showed that Thomas made a base salary of more than $187,000 during the 2016-17 school year. Olson made $160,000 in base salary as principal.
For Olson, the decision was no less sudden than for the board members. He has held numerous leadership positions during his 33 years in the district, and had applied for the superintendent position in 2012 when Thomas was hired, giving him some familiarity with District 155 families.
“I think they’ll find a lot of comfort in knowing I’m a family man first,” Olson said. “I spent the first half of my career at Crystal Lake South, so it’ll be important for me to get to know the people in Cary and Fox River Grove so they get to see me as the person I am.”