Over the last few weeks, Greenfield School Board member Cathy Walsh conducted most of the background checks on Lisa Elliott and Lynette Zimmer, the two individuals identified as finalists for the Greenfield School District’s vacant superintendent position.
And after both candidates interviewed for a second time Monday evening, and with a decision as to whom the Board feels is its top choice, Walsh believes the district can’t go wrong.
“The two candidates we interviewed (a second time) were fantastic,” Walsh said Tuesday. “I was blown away by what people had to say. I called tons and tons of people. I was very, very impressed.”
Elliott and Zimmer emerged at the head of a pool of 20 applicants interested in replacing former superintendent Conrad Farner, who resigned in January. That pool was whittled down to six. And now, only Elliott and Zimmer remain, and the Board could announce its top choice as soon as Monday.
“I had difficulty finding any weaknesses whatsoever,” Walsh said. “They are very, very equal candidates.”
“One (Zimmer) has been a superintendent and has a doctorate, and that weighed heavily,” Walsh added. “On the other side, the other candidate (Elliott) has all the experiences necessary to fill the needs of a K-12 superintendent and has started her doctorate."
Zimmer more experienced
Zimmer has been the superintendent of Prairie Grove Consolidate School District 46 in Crystal Lake, IL since 2010. Before that she was the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Fremont School District 79 in Mundelein, IL, from 2003-10.
She was a principal at two Illinois schools for 8 years after teaching and serving as a math specialist and assistant high school principal in Kenosha from 1987-94.
She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, a master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee and her doctorate degree from Loyola University-Chicago.
The 1982 Kenosha Bradford High School graduate has received a number of distinguished financial and education awards and accolades throughout her career and consults with school districts across the country on instructional applications of brain research and learning.
Strong local ties for Elliott
Elliott, meanwhile, has been the Director of Curriculum and Instruction of the Nicolet School District for two years and is well-versed in the state’s new Common Core Standards.
She was the principal at Maple Grove Elementary in Greenfield from 2006-11, and before that was an assistant principal at Greenfield High School beginning in 2002.
Elliott’s teaching experiences include 11 years as a Greenfield High School chemistry teacher. During that time, she was also a high school volleyball, basketball and track coach. Elliott also has been an adjunct lecturer in the Administrative Leadership Program at Alverno College since 2004.
Elliott received a bachelor’s degree at Carroll College in 1990 and her masters from Alverno in 2002. She began work on her doctorate at Cardinal Stritch University last June.