Dr. Matthew Montgomery Named Superintendent of Schools
In a unanimous vote at the April 12, 2021 Special Board Meeting, the Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 and Lake Forest Community High School District 115 Boards of Education jointly approved the contract for Dr. Matthew Montgomery to become the next Superintendent of Lake Forest Schools, effective July 1, 2021.
Dr. Montgomery, who has been in his current post as Superintendent of the Bath, Ohio Revere Local School District since 2015, was selected following an extensive community engagement and national search process managed jointly by the District 115 and District 67 school boards.
"Dr. Montgomery is the right leader at the right time for the Lake Forest schools," says District 115 Board President David Lane. "He brings with him a track record of K-12 innovation and achievement, and has the vision and management skills needed to take our District to the next level."
"Dr. Montgomery joins our District at an important moment, as we work to navigate past the pandemic," observes District 67 Board President Justin Engelland. "Dr. Montgomery not only has the professional expertise required to drive continuous improvement in our schools, but the communication and leadership abilities needed to strengthen our shared sense of partnership and alignment among all stakeholders in our school community."
"I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead these two extraordinary school districts and am grateful to the District 67 and District 115 Boards for making that possible," said Dr. Matthew Montgomery, incoming Superintendent of Lake Forest Schools. "I look forward to beginning the journey of developing relationships with staff, students, and the school community; building on past successes, and creating our future together."
Prior to his role as Superintendent for the Revere Schools, Dr. Montgomery served as Principal, and then as Superintendent, for the Waterloo Local Schools in Atwater, Ohio. He began his career in 2006 as a high school science teacher in Canfield, Ohio. Dr. Montgomery holds a doctoral degree in Educational Administration, a masters in Educational Administration, and a bachelor of Science in Education, all from Kent State University.
Dr. Montgomery is a highly regarded administrator and thought leader, serving in a variety of capacities including adjunct professor at the American College of Education Department of Leadership and Administration; Co-Chair of the American Association of School Administrators STEM Leadership Consortium; and the National Superintendents Roundtable Steering Committee.
Dr. Montgomery and his wife plan to reside in the District 67/115 school community with their four children.
Lake Forest Community High School District 115 and Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 are seeking an accomplished educational leader to serve as superintendent for both districts. The candidate must be a skilled integrator of resources, people, and perspectives. The two Boards are embarking on a search to identify an experienced individual who is prepared to meet our community in the moment, focusing on leadership, academic growth and achievement, social emotional wellbeing, and administrative acumen. With a goal of hiring the new superintendent in advance of the 2021-2022 school year, the two Districts have together established a timeline and are committed to a process that informs and engages the community every step of the way.
In a joint statement issued in January, District 67 Board President Justin Engelland and District 115 Board President David Lane acknowledged the significance of this effort, “We know that there is no more important role than leading the selection of a new Superintendent. Our shared commitment is to do so with rigor, inclusion, and transparency.“
ESTABLISHING THE SEARCH
The District 67 and 115 Boards aligned on an expedited process for retaining an executive search firm to assist in identifying and evaluating qualified candidates for superintendent. The Board Presidents created a Joint Ad Hoc Subcommittee consisting of three members from each Board who researched, vetted, and made a final recommendation to the joint Boards regarding the engagement of a search firm. Members of the Joint Ad Hoc Subcommittee were District 67 Board President Justin Engelland; District 67 Board members Richard Chun, and Suzanne Sands; and District 115 Board members Sally Davis, Dewey Winebrenner, and Jenny Zinser. Presentations by search firm candidates were made to the Ad Hoc Joint Subcommittee in an open session on January 21.
The District 67 and 115 Boards of Education agreed unanimously to engage a firm to lead the process for a nationwide superintendent search. Of the three competing firms, Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) was chosen based on a strong presentation, deep expertise, national reach, and a history yielding nearly 1,400 successful searches. Ninety-four percent of the superintendents HYA has placed have stayed in their position for three years or more. Working with HYA, the Boards have agreed to structure their search in four phases:
ENGAGE | In the engage phase, we will gather public perspectives, involving stakeholders through an online survey, focus groups, interviews, and a culminating candidate forum.
RECRUIT | In the recruit phase, HYA has partnered with us to create a customized application, and will use its digital platforms to post the position. HYA is leveraging a network of more than 100 associates nationwide in identifying and recruiting candidates to match District 67 and District 115 needs. HYA will screen and conduct reference checks on all applicants, while top applicants will be given an initial 30-45 minute interview, followed by additional background searches that will be summarized in reports for the Board to review.
SELECT | In the select phase, HYA will meet with the Boards to provide an initial slate of candidates. The Boards will conduct a first round of interviews with candidates they select. Once finalists have been determined, rigorous background checks will be conducted by Baker-Eubanks. The first part of the select phase is confidential and will take place in closed sessions. Final applicants will be announced to the community and will participate in a community forum. The Boards, along with District leaders and staff, will then conduct a second round of interviews with those candidates. Once a final candidate is selected and an agreement has been reached between the Districts and the candidate, the contract will be approved by the Boards in a joint, open session.
TRANSITION | In the transition phase, the confirmed candidate who is selected to serve as the next District 67 and DIstrict 115 superintendent will meet with the Boards to begin the process of moving forward together as a team.
If you have feedback you would like to share directly with HYA, please email HYA President Mr. Max McGee, email@example.com.
Our District 67 and 115 Boards of Education are eager to tailor the superintendent search to the specific needs of the Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood communities. In an effort to establish a candidate profile reflecting the priorities of all stakeholders, the District Boards are working with HYA to solicit public feedback.
Read recent communications from the Districts regarding the Superintendent Search:
- April 7, 2021 - Joint Board Update
- March 10, 2021 - Joint Board Meetings to Review Superintendent Candidates
- March 1, 2021 - Joint Board Announcement of Interim Superintendent
- February 4, 2021 - Progress Update and Survey Announcement
- January 28, 2021 - Joint Board Approval of Search Firm
- January 18, 2021 - Subcommittee to Select Search Firm
- January 11, 2021 - Discussion of Superintendent Search
- January 6, 2021 - Announcement of Superintendent Resignation
February 4, 2021
Community Survey Launch
February 11-18, 2021
Community Focus Groups
February 11, 2021
D67 Parent/Guardian Forum
February 12, 2021
D115 Parent/Guardian Forum
February 18, 2021
February 15, 2021
Survey Closes at 5 PM
March 1, 2021
Joint Special Boards of Education Meeting
March 9 , 2021
Joint Special Boards of Education Meeting
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Meet the Candidates Community Forum