By Steve Robinson | July 10, 2014 - 10:12 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

Unit 5NORMAL – Normal-based Unit 5 School Board members welcomed the district’s new superintendent to his first Board meeting when the group met at district headquarters for their regularly-scheduled meeting on July 10.

Dr. Mark Daniel officially began his tenure as district superintendent of Unit 5 on July 1, but it was nine days into the job before school board members held their first meeting of the new school year.

“We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship,” Board President John Puzauskas told Daniel as the 30-minute session began. Daniel succeeds Dr. Gary Niehaus who served as superintendent for the district for seven years, retiring June 30.

The meeting was also the first for LaNell Greenberg to serve as clerk of the Board of Education. Taking minutes at Board meetings is just one of the duties she will perform in that capacity. Greenberg succeeds Donna Evans who retired June 30.

Cunningham Exits For Superintendent’s Post: Just as the 2013-14 school year was winding down, a new career opportunity arose for Nate Cunningham, who served as assistant superintendent for human relations, a post he had held for Unit 5 for four years. He has taken a job as district superintendent in the Crete-Monee School District. He began his new position July 1.

“We certainly knew he was qualified and was ready for moving to a superintendency,” Daniel said following the meeting. Daniel said Cunningham interviewed and received a job offer within a two-week period. Daniel said Cunningham made him aware of his job decision on June 26.

Unit 5 map“I told him how disappointed we were that we’re going to lose him,” Daniel said after the meeting. “I thought he was very competent, and we had a very good cabinet team. We wish him the best and our support.”

Daniel said he believes because of the experience Cunningham gained from his years at Unit 5, he will enter his new assignment “with a bucketful of tools that he can apply.”

As part of his job, Cunningham handled negotiations with the district’s unionized employees and personnel matters.

In the meantime, Daniel said Unit 5 “is trying to work through that assignment, and look internally, as well as distribute those duties, and streamline a bit.” While a search begins for a new assistant superintendent of human resources, Curt Richardson, Unit 5’s attorney, will oversee that aspect of the district, Daniel explained.

NCHS Track Project Approved: Due to spring rains, Unit 5 was concerned any maintenance done to the track at Normal Community High School would include a complete replacement job, something the District’s Director of Operations, Joe Adelman, said the district was fully prepared to have done. But, Adelman told Board members, after an assessment of how the track looked following the storms, it appeared the oval only needed to be recoated, not replaced.

To that end, Board members approved a contract for the project with St. Charles, Ill.-based Track Surfaces Co. in the amount of $78,800.

No Board Meeting July 24; Next Board Meeting Aug. 13: There will be no second meeting of the school board in July. Their next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at district headquarters, 1809 W. Hovey Ave. That meeting will begin at 7p.m.

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