The Board of Education unanimously agreed to hire Dr. Michael Curry, who's in his fourth year as superintendent of the V.I.T. School District in Table Grove. He also serves as principal of the district's elementary school.
Curry and Abingdon-Avon agreed to a three-year contract that begins July 1, 2017. He will be paid $120,000 in his first year.
Curry will take over Abingdon-Avon about a year after former Superintendent Chad Willis left. Willis took a job in the Indian Creek School District in Shabbona, IL. When Willis left, Abingdon-Avon was in the middle of a data breach investigation. The review ultimately determined that no student grades were impacted but the security of the system should have been strengthened.
Curry said one of his objectives when he starts in Abingdon-Avon will be to build trust and become familiar with the district.
"This first year around is just learning, listening, talking to people, finding out what changes, if are any, are necessary. And then finding those people who those people are to work with to make those positive changes happen," he said.
Bill Rees, who is serving as Abingdon-Avon's interim superintendent, was of six finalists for the job that Curry won. Rees said 22 community members, staff, and teachers were involved in the search process and they all felt Curry was the right person for the job.
"He impressed people with his philosophy of education and his philosophy of dealing with people. And I think that everybody felt that he had those qualities in an administrator that recognize the self worth of all of the staff," Rees said.
Board President David Serven said he was glad to complete the search process. He said the hiring of Curry will help bring the community and school district back together after the data breach case.