School district selects superintendent finalists; names not released

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Decatur Public Schools have narrowed their superintendent search to two, but officials are not releasing the candidates’ names immediately.

District spokesperson Denise Swarthout did not know the finalists’ names on Wednesday, and she was not sure when the names would be made public. Another district representative, Maria Robertson, referred our newsroom to the firm being paid by the district for the search, Schaumburg-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA). HYA’s Max McGee said the firm has not talked with the district about releasing the names. McGee indicated the names would not be released ahead of virtual input sessions on Wednesday, January 5. There, residents can hear from the candidates and ask them questions. McGee will moderate the question and answer session. The session for the first candidate will be at 6 p.m., and the second session will be at 7:15 p.m. Both sessions will use this Zoom link. Residents can also contact the school board with feedback. Our newsroom could not immediately reach a member of the school board for comment on the finalists.

The school district is looking for a permanent replacement for Dr. Paul Fregeau, who left in June to take the same position at the Fox C-6 School District in the St. Louis area. That district serves around 12,000 students, while DPS has around 8,400. Fregeau had been with DPS since 2017.

The district said the search for Fregeau’s replacement has seen two open forums, 15 focus groups, 16 individual interviews, and nearly 1,100 survey results from students, parents, teachers, staff, and others.

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