District 65 school board members appointed former assistant superintendent Barbara Hiller as Chief Administrative Officer for the 2013-14 school year during a meeting Friday morning.
Hiller temporarily takes over leadership from outgoing Supt. Hardy Murphy, who resigned two weeks before the start of the school year. The board will begin the search for a permanent replacement later this fall.
Before her retirement in 2005, Hiller spent nearly 30 years working for District 65 as a teacher, mathematics curriculum coordinator, principal of Nichols Middle School and assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Since her retirement, she has worked as an administrator coach for the nonprofit group Consortium for Educational Change, a group that works with teachers, administrators, school boards and unions to improve student achievement.
“I care very much about this district,” Hiller said in a press release from the district. “And, because I have worked with many of the people in District 65, I know firsthand that with the support of teachers and staff, principals and central office administrators, together we will make sure that the Evanston/Skokie school community has a smooth transition this year.”
She will begin her new role on Monday, Aug. 26, the same day students go back to school.
Board president Tracy Quattrocki said the school district was lucky that Hiller agreed to take the helm, given the many years she spent working in District 65.
“Because of her long history with the district, she knows many of the faculty and staff with whom she will be working, and her experience will be invaluable to the day-to-day operational management of our schools,” Quattrocki said in the release.
Hiller will take overall responsibility for the administrative, educational and operational matters in the district, while the district’s business manager and school treasurer, Mary Brown, will serve as interim superintendent and perform the duties required to be handled by a state-endorsed superintendent, according to the release.
The state of Illinois requires that superintendents have specific certifications to carry out certain duties such as hiring, firing and reporting budget, according to district spokesperson Pat Markham. Because Brown has those certifications, she will handle those duties under Hiller’s leadership, Markham explained.