LINN COUNTY — The Linn-Mar Community School District on Monday announced Quintin Shepherd as its next superintendent.
Shepherd, 37, is the superintendent of Illinois’ District 69, which includes the communities of Skokie and Morton Grove. The K-8 district serves about 1,700 students, according to its website.
Shepherd previously was a superintendent and principal at the Amboy Community Unit School District, also in Illinois. He worked there from 2004-2010, according to a news release from the Linn-Mar district.
Shepherd will take over from Linn-Mar superintendent Katie Mulholland, who announced her retirement in July. He said he developed an “instant attraction” to the Linn-Mar district during two visits last month.
“I just like where the school district has situated itself and the direction it’s going,” he said. “The more I visited with (the school board), the more I realized this is just going to be a fantastic opportunity for both of us.”
Shepherd said he will conduct a listening tour during his first few months on the job to learn more about the district, followed by a “state of the district” address in January 2016. He will start July 1, 2015, the day after Mulholland retires.
Mulholland has served as Linn-Mar superintendent since 2003 and overseen significant growth in the district’s enrollment and employee numbers. The Linn-Mar district now includes about 7,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Mulholland said she looks forward to working with Shepherd on the transition.
“We’re so used to having people move into the community and bring their children, and we want to exhibit that same welcoming to Quintin and his family,” Mulholland said.
Shepherd pointed to the district’s growth as one of his immediate focuses.
“That is and will continue to be a great opportunity for the school district,” he said.
Shepherd also is beginning to deal with enrollment growth in his current position, said Terri Lefler, District 69’s board president. Lefler praised Shepherd’s ability to turn around the district’s budget while looking toward its future.
“He is a planner,” Lefler said. “He is always moving several steps ahead of most of us.”
Lefler said Shepherd’s relative youth as a superintendent is a plus.
“He’s a very forward-thinking guy, very energetic, very very bright,” she said. “He’s kept us ahead of the curve.”
Shepherd also is a school law and ethics instructor at Northeastern Illinois University. He said he will give up teaching, at least initially, to focus on his new position.
The Linn-Mar school board hired the search firm HYA Executive Search in August and set an initial goal of hiring a superintendent by Jan. 1. HYA Executive Search was hired at a cost of $15,500, with some additional expenses.
“Linn-Mar’s board is impressed with Dr. Shepherd’s many accomplishments in improving student education, as well as with his boundless energy, exceptional communication skills, and commitment to excellence in learning,” board president Tim Isenberg said in prepared remarks.
Shepherd’s contract will be approved by the board at a Dec. 8 meeting, according to the release. Isenberg and board vice president Barry Buchholz were unavailable for comment.