Forging New Pathways: District 214 is on a Search For a New Superintendent


After 18 years, Dr. David Schuler is leaving his position of Superintendent to serve at the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). This led the District 214 Board of Education to begin its search for a new superintendent. 

The Superintendent search usually takes a few months and it is an important process because it is a major leadership role. The search firm Hazard, Young, and Attea (HYA), has helped create surveys and forums that help the Board of Education determine the right fit for District 214. 

According to Bill Dussling who is the president of the Board of Education, “The community should expect our new superintendent to bring energy, vision and leadership to this work and should expect someone who will guide District 214’s continued growth by sharing his or her own ideas about how to build on the successes that we enjoy now in preparing students for future success.”

While the search continues, the board has appointed Co-Interim Superintendents.They have chosen retired Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Arndt and District 214’s Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Dr. Lazaro Lopez to serve as Co-Interim Superintendents. 

“This shared leadership model has been successfully implemented in other districts when a superintendent vacancy occurs during the school year,” Dussling said.

Dr. Arndt is new to the district, however, he is not new to the job. For more than 45 years he has been an educator, he worked as a social studies teacher, school administrator, and District Superintendent. According to Arndt, he is very proud to be working with District 214. 

“There is no question that our career pathway program is the best in the nation…I know no other school district that has such a tremendous program for all students,” Arndt said. “Regardless of whatever your interests are, 214 will find a way to show you what that profession is like.” 

Dr. Arndt has been the main point of contact for parents and so far he says, “everybody has been extremely friendly.”

Dr. Lopez has been working with District 214 for more than 23 years and since 2013 he has been our Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. According to Lopez he has had a wonderful experience and will continue to fulfill the job. 

“What has surprised me the most hasn’t been the work but the warm acceptance from members and the support I’ve received,”  Dr. Lopez said. “My number one priority is to address the mental support needed for the students, the pandemic has really had an impact academically, we’re all still trying to recover.” 

He hopes to continue to address the needs of all students. Additionally, Arndt and Lopez have worked together in the past so this co-interim experience is a natural partnership for the two.

According to district 214 Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Anthony Bradburn, he has been following the search and explained that the district needs a candidate who can prioritize DEI work. 

“In today’s climate, we need someone who is a champion for the historically marginalized so that we strengthen our capacity to erase racial predictability,” Bradburn said.

According to Lopez a good superintendent has the qualities of leadership that bring everyone together for a purpose

According to Dussling,it is very important to know the opinions of everyone in the community to be sure the school board selects the right candidate for the job. The School Board will continue their search and will begin the next phase of the process soon by bringing in potential candidates to interview.

“We expect to announce our new superintendent sometime in April,” Dussling said.