The superintendent is hired by the Board of Education to lead the district and is one of the board's most important decisions. As the CEO of the school district, the superintendent is charged with engaging all stakeholders in a process to improve student achievement for ALL students and to ensure systems and processes are effective and efficient. The current superintendent, Dr. Roger Alvey, is retiring at the end of the 2024-2025 school. As part of the district strategic planning process, it was identified that a superintendent transition plan needs to be a priority.
The Illini Bluffs #327 Board of Education is committed to ensuring a successful and smooth superintendent transition. In developing this plan, the board understands that transitioning leadership in public education must be a deliberate process. The board utilized the strategic planning survey to collect stakeholder input regarding finding the next superintendent of Illini Bluffs #327.
How important is it for Illini Bluffs #327 to develop a superintendent transition plan?
96.4% of community member/parent survey respondents and 97.3% of staff member survey respondents indicate that a superintendent transition plan is important.
Top strategy the school board should take in choosing the next superintendent:
61.5% of community member/parent survey respondents and 52.7% of staff member survey respondents indicate the board should “find a candidate with the same basic educational and management philosophy as the current administration, but who can make some necessary changes.”
26.7% of community member/parent survey respondents and 37.8% of staff member survey respondents indicate the board should “find a candidate who will stay the course and continue the work of the current administration.”
11.8% of community member/parent survey respondents and 9.5% of staff member survey respondents indicate the board should “find a candidate who is ready to take the district in a significantly different direction.”
Top three past positions most valuable for a superintendent candidate:
(both community member/parent and staff survey respondents agreed on the following)
2. Building Principal
3. Administrator in another school district
Top three areas of expertise superintendent candidates should possess:
Community member/parent survey respondents:
1. Teacher Quality
2. College and Career Readiness
3. School Safety
Staff member survey respondents:
1. School Safety
2. Teacher Quality
3. Academic Rigor
Is it important for the superintendent to reside within the school district?
74.4% of community member/parent survey respondents and 64.9% of staff member survey respondents indicate it is important for the superintendent to live in the district.
External Vs. Internal Considerations
- A consulting firm handles the search
- The cost of the search is a minimum of $10,000
- An external candidate may not know the district, culture, and community
- Openings are abundant across the state, so there is a considerable likelihood of a smaller pool of qualified candidates
- Requiring residency in the district may further shrink the pool of qualified candidates
- May discourage an internal candidate from applying
- Provides the opportunity to “grow our own” district leader through mentorship
- An internal candidate knows the district, culture, and community
- If the district does not consider a highly qualified internal candidate, that person may be recruited by another district
- No cost to the search
- Internal candidate is more likely to already live in the district
The district currently has a highly qualified internal candidate who:
- Knows the district, culture, and community
- Has experience as a teacher, building principal, and also an administrator in another district
- Shares the same basic educational/management philosophy as the current administration, but who can make some necessary changes
- Is already being recruited for future area superintendent openings
- Lives in the school district
Superintendent Transition Plan for internal candidate:
Beyond ensuring a successful and smooth transition, the Illini Bluffs #327 Board of Education wants to retain the next superintendent for the long term. According to the American Association of School Administrators, the average tenure of a school superintendent is 5-6 years. To beat this statistic, the board believes in making the proper investment to ensure the next superintendent is as successful as possible. Furthermore, the board does not want to lose our highly qualified internal candidate to another district. By creating this transition plan, the board is providing a commitment to the internal candidate and providing the resources for them to be successful long-term.
Phase 1 Pre-Entry: 2023-2024 School Year
- Candidate would retain their current administrative role for the 2023-2024 school year
- Candidate will attend in-district and out-of-district meetings with current superintendent
Phase 2 Transition: 2024-2025 School Year
- Candidate will assume a temporary role in order to focus on the transition for the 2024-2025 school year
- The temporary role will be “Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning”
- Current Superintendent Dr. Roger Alvey will mentor candidate to learn all aspects of the superintendency
- Candidate will work with Associate Superintendent Mr. Cody Martzluf to become familiar with district operations
- Opportunity for candidate to jump-start their own educational initiatives
- Candidate will assume mentorship of the building principals
Phase 3 Entry: 2025-2026 School Year
- Candidate takes over as district superintendent
At the February 2023 board meeting, the Illini Bluffs CUSD #327 Board of Education unanimously approved a transition plan as part of the district’s strategic planning efforts. The Board of Education also unanimously approved Mr. Dimitri Almasi as the next Superintendent of Schools for Illini Bluffs CUSD #327. Dr. Roger Alvey will retire in June 2025 as the Superintendent of Illini Bluffs CUSD #327.
For the 2023-2024 school year, Mr. Almasi will continue as the high school principal. For the 2024-2025 school year, Mr. Almasi will transition into the position of Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. In this role, Mr. Almasi will work alongside Superintendent Dr. Alvey and Associate Superintendent of Operations Mr. Cody Martzluf learning and preparing for the superintendent position. He will assume the role of superintendent on July 1, 2025.
Mr. Almasi has been a principal at Illini Bluffs since 2021. Before his current role, Mr. Almasi served three years as a principal in Elmwood School District #322 and one year as a principal at Germantown Hills School District #69. He started his career in Limestone Walters School District #316, teaching 4th grade and junior high science, social studies, and health, and coaching softball and basketball.
Mr. Almasi received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Bradley University. He earned his educational specialist’s degree from Western Illinois University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. Mr. Almasi is also a recent graduate of the Illinois Association of School Administrators’ Aspiring Superintendents Academy.
Mr. Almasi shared, “I love this community - I grew up here, I live here, and my own children will go to school here. I am honored to be selected to lead IB into the future. I will work hard to provide an exceptional educational program for all our students and one where all stakeholders are proud to be a Tiger.”
Mr. Almasi is an Illini Bluffs alumnus and attended IB schools pre-k through 12th grade. He resides in Lake Camelot with his wife, Natalie, and their son Anthony.
The Illini Bluffs #327 Board of Education is committed to ensuring a successful and smooth superintendent transition. The board utilized the strategic planning survey to collect stakeholder input regarding finding the next superintendent of Illini Bluffs #327. Mr. Almasi emerged as a highly qualified candidate through that process.
School Board President Chris Coats shared, “after receiving feedback from our community and the staff, we realized we had a highly talented internal candidate in Mr. Almasi, and it made sense to pursue him as our next superintendent. The board is proud to invest in the superintendent transition plan because we want Mr. Almasi to be successful as the next superintendent of Illini Bluffs and to be able to hit the ground running on day one. We are thankful for Dr. Alvey and everything he has done for our school district. We are also thankful for his willingness to help mentor Mr. Almasi and pass along the knowledge and experience he has gained from being a superintendent for over twenty years. We consider ourselves so fortunate to have such wonderful leaders who are so invested in our School Community, and we are excited about the future of the Illini Bluffs School System.”