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BV hires administrators

Superintendent is a former BV grad

MANLIUS — Bureau Valley School Board has hired a new permanent superintendent and assistant superintendent.

The decisions were made at Monday’s board meeting after a relatively short closed session. Stephen Endress was hired as superintendent, effective May 25, and Gavin Sronce was hired as assistant superintendent, effective July 1.

Board President Rick Cernovich said it may seem a little unusual the board decided to hire two to replace one, but the board felt there’s a lot of work to be done.

“Mr. Whitmore and Mr. Thompson have avidly filled in and raised the ship and stopped the damage,” he said. “We’re looking forward to these two taking over the reins and reaching for better things, and to restore BV to where it was years ago.”

After the board unanimously approved their contacts — yearly salary of Endress to be $126,000 and Sronce to be $107,550 — the few teachers and community members in the audience had the chance to talk briefly with the new administrators.

Endress is a member of the first graduating class at Bureau Valley. He grew up on a farm in Buda and said he is excited about returning home to the area. He is currently the superintendent at Woodland Community Unit School District in Streator. There he has found ways to reduce expenses without cutting services; has improved the building, grounds and infrastructure; modeled servant leadership; forged strong relationship with staff and their union; and has encouraged local, in-house professional development with common core standards using “train the trainer’” approaches in order to build closer relationships among staff and emphasize student engagement.

Sronce’s responsibilities as assistant superintendent will include monitoring all special education-related services; evaluation of Bureau County Cooperative program for Alternative Education/Behavior Disorder services; oversight of the curriculum; common core implementation; high school vocational classes and area vocational programs; and be a WAVC Board member representative for Bureau Valley.

“Duties and responsibilities may change, depending on the priorities set by the superintendent,” Sronce stated in a press release. “Overall, I will do anything I can to help the students and staff of BV to be successful, so whatever the school board and Dr. Endress need me to do, I’m ready and able.”

Sronce graduated from Clinton High School in 1990. He has a background in teaching social studies at the junior high level and coaching boys basketball, softball and varsity soccer. He began his administrative career as the director of Futures Unlimited Alternative School in Decatur. After one year, he was hired as the high school principal at Lewistown High School, and for the past three years, he has been the high school principal at Mercer County High School in Aledo.

“I want to thank everyone in advance for welcoming me and my family as a part of the BV community, and I look forward to working with and getting to know each of you,” he said.

Interim Superintendent James Whitmore was quick to praise the new hires.

“The future looks good for Bureau Valley,” he said “They’re good people, and I know they will work hard and do their best.”

Whitmore and fellow interim Superintendent Dennis Thompson have held their positions at BV since July 2012, when former Superintendent John Bute resigned from the position.

The board opted to hire the two as a cost-saving measure and because there was not enough time to post the position and interview prospective candidates before the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.

Whitmore and Thompson will finish their second term at the district on July 1, which is the official start of the 2014-15 school year.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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