WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Leaders Leaving the Galesburg School District

Feb 1, 2017

Superintendent Ralph Grimm announced he will retired June 30, and the two longest-serving members of the school board have removed their names from the ballot for this spring's elections.

Grimm is ending a nearly 33 year career in education.  He has served as Galesburg's superintendent the past two years after serving as superintendent of the West Central School District for 10 years.  Grimm has also been a superintendent in the Canton and Carthage School Districts. 

Grimm, 56, said this is his first year of eligibility for retirement. He said the stress of the job is starting to become too much.

"There’s probably more to life than continuing to fight about a budget, reducing staff to keep a district afloat financially. And so I’m looking forward to some other things at a little bit slower pace," Grimm said.

Grimm said he wants to stay in education in a consulting role for younger administrators.  He would also like to work with  boards of education on financial and school improvement planning.

Grimm said his goal in the final months on the job in Galesburg is to balance the district's budget as best as possible. The school board could vote on budget cuts during its February 13 meeting.

Grimm said by announcing his retirement now, school board members will have plenty of time to find his successor.  

They will also have to find new leaders for the board because President Bob Lindstrom and Vice-President Joshua Gibb are leaving.

Lindstrom has served on the board since November 1997. He declined to be interviewed about why he is stepping away.

Gibb has served since June 2013, when he was appointed to the board. He won a two-year term in 2015.

Gibb said he is leaving to spend more time with his family.  "I know the long hours that I put in those first four years, knowing that the next four years was going to take an equal amount of time or more time. I basically just said I really can’t do that to my family any longer," he said.

Lindstrom is a private attorney in Galesburg, while Gibb is the President and CEO of the Galesburg Community Foundation.

Lindstrom and Gibb were in different races for the school board. Lindstrom was one of six candidates for two open seats inside Galesburg Township. The remaining candidates are Rod Scherpe, Vickie Banks, Isaiah Harlan, Kole Kenan, and Gay Johnson.

Gibb was one of two candidates for one seat outside of Galesburg Township. The only other candidate to file is Maurice Lyon, who ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign two years ago.