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Superintendent David Larson Calls Time Working in Birmingham 'Incredible'

To kick off the process of finding a replacement, the Birmingham Board of Education will begin interviewing firms specializing in superintendent searches.

 Superintendent David Larson will officially announce his resignation at Tuesday night's school board meeting after accepting a position at a Chicago-area school district.

, effective July 1, a statement from that district's school board announced Monday night.

Glenbard District 87 is Illinois' third-largest high school district and encompasses 45 square miles in DuPage County, a suburban area 30 miles west of Chicago.

"I've been fortunate to work with an outstanding staff and community," Larson said in a statement Tuesday morning. "I also have had the support of a great board of education."

Birmingham Board of Education President Susan Hill echoed Larson's sentiments.

"The relationship between the board and superintendent sets the tone of a district," she said. "We've been fortunate to have experienced such a positive relationship with Dr. Larson and appreciate the leadership he has provided. We wish him and his family the best."

Larson has been with Birmingham Public Schools since 2008. Before that, he was superintendent in Harbor Springs, MI, a principal in Mount Pleasant, deputy principal at the Singapore American School in Singapore as well as an assistant principal and teacher in Florida.

Larson said taking the position with the Glenbard District offers him a unique opportunity as the district only consists of four high schools and no middle or elementary schools.

"My background is in secondary education and I have previously served as a high school principal," he said, further adding that the job in Illinois also moves his family closer to relatives.

"The last four years here in Birmingham Public Schools have been incredible," Larson said. "I enjoyed getting to know the community and the many families that are part of this wonderful district. As I reflect on my time here, I count myself as being very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in such a first rate school district."

School board to interview search firms next week

Birmingham Schools spokeswoman Marcia Wilkinson said the school board is quickly embarking on the search process for a new superintendent and is seeking a search firm specializing in school executive searches.

Wilkinson said the school board will be interviewing firms during a special meeting beginning at 6 p.m. March 27 at the district administration building.

At later forums, parents and community members will be able to share their thoughts on what the district should seek in a superintendent.

"The search and selection process for a new superintendent is one of the most important tasks a board of education will undertake," Hill said. "We are committed to finding the very best candidate and working to ensure a smooth transition.

"It's an exciting time in our district and one that allows us to reflect and plan for our future," she added.

Hill said the school board will be looking for several characteristics in a new superintendent, including a passion for 21st century teaching and learning — one of the district's cornerstones — professional learning communities, character education and strategic planning.

"An excellent teaching staff, along with strong leadership from our Board of Education and administrative team, guarantees we will have a smooth transition and that we will continue to be an education leader," Hill said. "We continue to be a top performing district with tremendous appeal to families and staff members. This committment to excellence ensures a balanced but aggressive search for the very best."

Wilkinson said Larson will continue working full-time until the end of June. Until then, there has been no decision made about a possible fill-in should a new superintendent not be hired at that point.

"We're working pretty quickly," she said.

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