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Residents say what they would like to see in next West Aurora school superintendent

NORTH AURORA – North Aurora resident Stacey Buziecki said she would like to see the next school superintendent to bring a fresh perspective.

“The person should be open-minded and want to try new things,” Buziecki said Wednesday at a community forum at Jewel Middle School designed to collect input from residents on what qualities they would like to see in the next school superintendent.

West Aurora School District 129 Superintendent James Rydland has announced he plans to retire at the end of next school year in June 2014.

Rydland started in 2005 after the retirement of former superintendent Sherry Eagle.

Buziecki was only one of three residents who attended the forum. Eight residents showed up at Monday’s community forum at West Aurora High School.

“These are typical numbers,” said Tom Madden, a founding partner of Highland Park-based School Exec Connect. The school district has contracted with the superintendent search firm to find Rydland’s replacement.

Madden, of Aurora, was principal of West Aurora High School from 1982 to 1987 and is also the retired superintendent of Lemont Township High School District 210.

Other residents at the forum said they were concerned with how the new superintendent would balance the school district’s budget in light of the state’s decreased school funding, as well as keeping a handle on classroom sizes and not cutting programs such as the arts.

Feedback will be collected through Sept. 13. Another community forum will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at Washington Middle School in Aurora.

Community members who want to give feedback also can take an anonymous survey at the district’s website at

Madden said the comments will be used to construct a leadership profile for the next superintendent.

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