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Local

Carlson hired as STHS superintendent

La Salle County's regional superintendent to take over for Thurwanger

SENECA — Jim Carlson, the current Regional Superintendent of Schools for La Salle County, was hired Wednesday evening to become Seneca Township High School's new superintendent.

The Seneca Township High School Board of Education unanimously approved Carlson's hiring, according to a press release issued Thursday by Board President Robert Lee. Carlson has a two-year contract with a base salary of $145,000.

"Mr. Carlson is a strong match to what the faculty, staff and community identified in their recent survey," Lee said. "I am extremely pleased, on behalf of the Board of Education, to welcome Mr. Carlson to the Land of the Irish."

Carlson will take over July 1, 2012, for outgoing superintendent Mark Thurwanger. Carlson currently holds the position of Regional Superintendent of Schools for La Salle County, a position he assumed after serving as assistant regional superintendent from 2007-11.

Carlson has experience as a superintendent, administrator, teacher and coach, as well as experience with the Regional Office of Education. He is currently completing his Ed.D. in educational administration at Northern Illinois University. He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northern Illinois University.

According to Lee, Carlson's contract is a "competitive contract commensurate with the duties and responsibilities, as well as the expectations of the board and community."

Lee said Carlson's hiring follows an extensive search by the district, which included input from the community, faculty and staff. The initial step of the process was a community survey. Utilizing the results of the survey, the board identified the next superintendent's focus areas.

The board reviewed applications, supporting documentation and conducted extensive interviews, background and reference checks during the hiring process. The interview team consisted of board members, administrators, faculty members, staff members and community members.

Lee said the board received valuable insight from the community during the process.

"Hiring a superintendent is one of the most important jobs placed upon the Board of Education," Lee said. "Partnering with the community was vital to the process for selecting our next superintendent."

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