Unit 4 is busy with the Superintendent search, but the RSS is silent


I recently managed to piss off members of the Board because I, in email, made it sound like the Board was not doing anything about the Superintendent Search.



So I recently was enlightened about all the work that is going on in the context of the Superintendent search. And I even found some new items online that I had not seen before. It turns out that, if you are like me and consume information online a lot, you either have to setup RSS feeds on EVERYTHING, or you really have to go scouring for it. For example, I learned that during last weeks “Media Friday” (an event where the media is invited to the Mellon Center every second Friday at 10:am, the last one being August 12th), the Board discussed the Superintendent search “at length”. I did not hear about this from any of my existing feeds (News-Gazette, Unit 4, a couple blogs here and there), so I had the opportunity to hunt down the following stories:

WICD: http://www.wicd15.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/vid_4420.shtml  (text is poorly formatted, btw)

WILL: http://will.illinois.edu/news/spotstory/unit-four-officials-say-supt.-search-process-off-to-good-start/

Apparently, the NG ran a story in the print-only edition. So I hear.


So, first the WICD news item. We hear that a lot is happening and that things are moving in a good direction. Great. Unfortunately, I am the kind of person that wants more details than that. 🙂 We hear that over 800 surveys have been returned. Great! I am looking forward to hearing a summary or analysis of those surveys. During the last few seconds before the video abruptly stops, the anchor says that the search firm (School Exec Connect) will be at Centennial on September 12th and the community is welcome. This is not in the printed text, and is so crammed into the last few seconds I had to replay the segment just to digest it. No time is given.


The WILL article not only mentions the Centennial forum but spends a few words on it as well. “In the evening”. The WILL article also mentions “Champaign-Urbana Days over the weekend in Douglass Park” – I would like to learn more about this (feeling really clueless now *grin*).


The Board has elaborated a little on what else they have been doing.

  • The September forum is apparently in coordination with the Junior League
  • A letter from the Search firm will go out soon(tm) to school parents
  • Small focus groups are being organized
  • Community Interview Committee will be announced soon(tm)


So my goal in making this particular post is to simply pass along information that I found. I still wish Unit 4 would put this stuff on their own website, and I am really puzzled why they don’t. In fact, they only thing they do have is this little dinky “Search Page“, which is obviously outdated even now.


I have followed up with WILL and asked about how to get a feed on specific Story Categories, since I have no desire to RSS the entire site looking for interesting stories. Going to pursue similar things with WICD and WCIA, but that might be a bit more difficult. If you already know how to do this, please let me know! 🙂


*UPDATE*: Mr. Lockman just informed me that the September 12th Community Forum is at 7:pm.



4 Responses to “Unit 4 is busy with the Superintendent search, but the RSS is silent”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    FYI – I heard from “a source” that one of the above-mentioned outlets will soon have an advanced api that generates custom-made rss feeds and allows from some slick dynamic functionality. I have been test-driving it and am very impressed.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    The Junior League has announced the September 12th Superintendent Search Forum right on their front page:

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Unit 4 sent out a KCN note and put up a FaceBook post:

    Just a note to let you know that Champaign Unit 4 Schools will hold a community forum on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 7 PM at Centennial High School regarding the search for a new Superintendent. The community forum will be led by the search firm, School Exec Connect. The Junior League of Champaign-Urbana is assisting with the event.

    During the forum, members of the search firm will ask the audience for input on questions similar to those found on the Community Input Survey and will give audience members an opportunity for dialog with regard to the characteristics and qualifications for a new Superintendent.

    The public is invited to attend and is encouraged to complete a Community Input Survey, found on the District’s website. Please share with those you know who may be interested in attending.

    Thank you!

    Still nothing on the Unit 4 website itself, that I could find.

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    Found another blurb. I guess my RSS filters are not working properly, since I got this from the Unit 4 Facebook feed several days after it appeared on WCIA. Hey, but at least I found it. 🙂 The news segment feels a little rushed, but it conveys a lot of important information:

    Unit 4 apologizes for the transportation problems at the Elementary School level; apparently a lot of issues
    Dr. Malito spend several hours on the first days observing transportation, meeting kids and parents
    Unit 4 is collecting feedback from the community via the search survey; interesting how he emphasizes the “old school” feel of it because they want the “human touch”.
    Lastly, they mentioned the Community Forum on Sept 12th and expressed their desire that a large segment of the population comes out to Centennial.

    I was talking with someone recently, and it dawned on me that Dr. Malito is setting up a good role model for what I want the next superintendent to be like.

    EDIT: Oh, and the Unit 4 webpage has finally been updated with the Community Forum information.

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