A current Batavia principal will become the district's next superintendent.
The Batavia School Board unanimously selected Batavia High School Principal Dr. Lisa Hichens as the future leader of Batavia Public Schools. The decision was first announced during a special school board meeting on Tuesday night.
“This is an exciting time to be in education and I’m thrilled with the opportunity to serve as the next superintendent,” Hichens said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to collaborating with the Batavia community to continue the district’s tradition of academic excellence and continuous improvement.”
Hichens will officially begin her role as superintendent on July 1, 2013, when Dr. Jack Barshinger retires from the leadership post he has held for the past seven years. Barshinger announced his intent to retire on Aug. 20.
Transition planning with Barshinger will begin early next week and will continue through June 2013.
Hichens’ promotion to superintendent will leave a vacancy for the principal’s position at Batavia High School. This position, along with the director of human resources and assistant director of curriculum and instruction, is expected to be filled by March 2013, the School Board's announcement said.
During the coming months, Hichens will focus on communicating with stakeholders, relationship-building, and learning even more about the district and its operations.
“Over the years, Dr. Hichens has established herself as an exceptional educator and administrator and has garnered the respect and admiration of colleagues, students, parents and the community,” board member Cathy Dremel said. “She is a strong match to what our stakeholders identified during the search process and we are pleased to welcome Dr. Hichens to her new role.”
The Super Search
The Batavia School Board’s decision to hire Hichens follows a comprehensive search by board members in collaboration with the superintendent search firm, School Exec Connect.
The search process began in September with focus groups and an online survey that included input from community members, parents, administrators and staff. Utilizing the results of the focus groups and survey, School Exec Connect developed a comprehensive leadership profile, which identified the desired qualities of the next superintendent.
As a part of the search process, School Board members reviewed candidate applications and supporting documentation. Then they conducted interviews, background and reference checks. The team of interviewers included board members, teachers, administrators, staff, parents and community members.
“Hiring a superintendent is one of the most important jobs with which the Board of Education is charged,” Board President Ron Link said. “Partnering with the community was vital to the process for selecting our next superintendent and we thank the members of the community for their valuable input.”
Lisa Hichens Bio
Hichens has served as Batavia High School principal since 2009. She first joined the district in 1994 as math teacher at Batavia High School. Then she progressed to other leadership roles including serving as Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning, a post she held from 2005 to 2009.
Dr. Hichens earned her Ed. Doctorate in Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction from Aurora University, where she also earned her superintendent’s endorsement. She received her Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and her Type 75 General Administrative Certificate from Northern Illinois University. Hichens earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Illinois.
Hichens lives in Naperville with her husband, Mathew, and their children, Emma and Owen.