Gary Miller will serve as the Unit 9 School District interim superintendent.
The board voted 4-0 Tuesday afternoon to hire Miller for the position as it looks for a permanent superintendent. Board members Kirk McTaggart, Sarah Combes and Gina Greene were not present at the meeting.
Former superintendent Guy Gradert left at the end of the school year, with the board hiring former superintendent, now Glenn Raymond School principal, James Bunting to fill the interim position until the interim position could be filled.
Board President James Bruns has said that the board will be working on filling the superintendent position by next school year at the latest.
Miller was present at the meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Currently retired, Miller has been living in Texas, but is familiar with the Illinois education system. “I retired two years ago from Momence,” he said. “I was a superintendent for six year. I was in southern Illinois, Noble, Richland County, Olney, that area for a few years then I came to Momence and finished out my career there.
“I’ve been in education for 32 years,” he said.
Miller said he has actually worked many different jobs in a school district, which he feels is an advantage.
His first job was as a school bus driver, which he did while he was in college. “Then I became a teacher and I was in a classroom for 20 years. Then I was a superintendent for six years and a principal for six years,” he said.
He also ran a restaurant for six years. “I always tell people I know what their jobs are like. I never was a janitor, but I had to keep my restaurant clean, so I think that counts. I was a bus driver so I can talk to bus drivers. I can talk to the kitchen help because I understand food service.”
Miller said he was called by someone in the administration at Momence who was familiar with the area and asked if he would be interested in being the interim superintendent. “One thing led to another and here I am,” he said.
Miller said he will be working hard to get up to speed on the district. He said, too, that being in the interim position will give the board a chance to find the right person to fill the superintendent position. “I want to build relationships,” he said.
Miller said he believes in having an open door policy. “My door is always open,” he said. “Come in and talk and share with me what your concerns are. I enjoy talking to people and meeting people.”
Because he is retired, he can only work 120 days. Bruns said. The district is paying Miller $675 per diem. Bruns noted that the average per diem for an interim superintendent in Illinois is between $600 and $900.
In another matter, the board changed two meeting dates. The July meeting date is now July 17. The September meeting date is now Sept. 19. .