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Our View: Positives to promoting from within

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

District 428 school board members didn’t look far to find their next superintendent, and that’s not a bad thing.

The board last week voted to hire Doug Moeller as the district’s next superintendent. Moeller, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and student services who also spent three years as principal at DeKalb High School, will take over for Superintendent Jim Briscoe after this school year ends.

No doubt a school district as large as DeKalb could have attracted many good candidates from around the state and the country had school board members gone to the time and expense of launching a far-reaching search.

But Moeller was the only candidate board members interviewed for the job, which suggests that they knew who they wanted all along. In that case, it’s better that they didn’t waste time and money going through the motions.

Hiring Moeller now does have many advantages. Just as businesses benefit from having a succession plan in place, so too will the school district.

Moeller will have months to prepare for the top job while his predecessor is still there to offer guidance and advice.

Moeller’s years of service in the school district in different capacities should make him familiar with the culture and with the district’s unique challenges and assets from the first day he takes over as superintendent.   

Promoting Moeller to the top job also ensures that he will not be leaving the school district for greener pastures, and will also give the school district time to find someone to replace Moeller in his assistant superintendent role.

The school district has challenges it must confront, but there is little to suggest that the public is eager for dramatic changes in the way it is running its 11 schools.

Those who have interacted with Moeller in the past have had good things to say about him, and we wish him success as he prepares to take on an important leadership role in the community.

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