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West Central Hires Paula Markey, New Superintendent

The Board of Education is pleased to announce the hiring of Mrs. Paula Markey as the new Superintendent of West Central C.U.S.D. #235 Mrs. Markey's contract will begin July 1, 2015.

Mrs. Markey has served as the Assistant Superintendent of the West Prairie CUSD #103 since 2013 and has also served as the elementary principal for two elementary buildings in the same district since 2003. Prior to her employment at West Prairie, Mrs. Markey served as a high school business and computer teacher at Southeastern High School in Augusta for 14 years and as a part-time college instructor for 12 years at Spoon River College. Mrs. Markey will be replacing Mr. Ralph Grimm, who has been hired as the Galesburg C.U.S.D. #205 Superintendent effective July 1, 2015.

A statement from Mrs. Paula Markey:

"It is my honor to be selected as the Superintendent of West Central C.U.S.D. #235. I am excited to meet and work with the students, staff, families, and community members of West Central. Together we will work diligently to put what is best for students at the forefront and provide opportunities to achieve excellence."

Mrs. Markey earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Education from Western Illinois University in 1988 and then her Masters in Educational Administration from Western Illinois University in 2002. In July of 2013, Mrs. Markey obtained her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from Western Illinois University.

Mrs. Markey has had a storied career in education to date having a reputation of always putting students first, while at the same time striving for academic excellence. Mrs. Markey played a significant role in helping lead West Prairie North Elementary School in receiving the Illinois Honor Roll Academic Improvement Award in 2005 and the Illinois Academic Excellence Award in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In addition, Mrs. Markey helped lead the West Prairie South Elementary School in earning the Illinois Honor Roll Spotlight School Award in 2006, 2007, and 2010 and the Illinois Academic Improvement Award in 2009 and 2010. In her role as Assistant Superintendent the past two years at West Prairie, Mrs. Markey has a strong understanding of school finance, the annual budgeting process, tax rate assessments and other critical roles in overseeing the financial standing of a school district.

The West Central CUSD #235 Board of Education held an extensive interview process and gained expert insight form School Exec Connect's Ms. Diane Robertson. Through an extensive process which included community and staff input on a "New Superintendent" profile, the Board of Education narrowed down the applicants to six finalists for interviews, and then a second round of interviews with three finalists. In addition to the Board of Education, the West central administrative leadership team, the West Central Association of Teachers and Staff, and the central office staff were involved in the interview process.

"We are extremely excited for the West Central CUSD #235 students, faculty, staff and stakeholders with the hiring of Mrs. Paula Markey", said Board President Lonnie Brent. "After an extensive search and interview process, the Board of Education's decision to hire Mrs. Markey was unanimous. She fits the "New Superintendent Profile' perfectly and will continue the tradition of academic excellence that exists at West Central."