The Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Board of Education at its December 11, 2017 meeting approved the appointment of Michael Padavic as Interim Director of Student Services for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year. Mr. Padavic replaces Jane Boyd, who retired effective December 1, 2017.
Mr. Padavic comes to District 64 most recently from Oak Park Elementary School District 97 in Oak Park, Illinois, where he served for eight years as Senior Director of Special Services until his retirement in June 2017. Mr. Padavic was responsible for the daily operation of the district’s special education programs and student services serving nearly 6,000 students at eight elementary schools and two middle schools.
“Mr. Padavic offers an unusually well-rounded perspective on all of the different aspects of student services, based on his training as a social worker and through his lengthy career providing or overseeing services for special needs children in a diversity of settings, including residential facilities, special education cooperatives, and at both the high school and elementary school levels,” according to Superintendent Laurie Heinz.
“He takes an inclusive, team approach to problem solving focused around building consensus, both when analyzing the individual needs of students as well as the programming needs of the District,” she added. “His genuine caring for students and their families was evident throughout the interview process. Despite moving into administration years ago, he is a social worker at heart and his warmth and personable nature will be a welcome addition to the special education department and District 64. Mr. Padavic’s background, knowledge base, varied experiences and disposition will serve us well as we move through the rest of the 2017-18 school year,” Dr. Heinz confirmed.
“We are confident that Mr. Padavic will bring the same passionate and dedicated service to District 64 that he was known for at Oak Park, with its similar high level of expectations, active parent involvement, and strong community support for education,” Dr. Heinz noted.
Mr. Padavic holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a Master of Social Work degree from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois. He received his director of special education certificate from Illinois State University, and also has advanced training in family therapy, conflict resolution training, and other specialties.
In seeking an interim director, the District focused heavily on seeking to identify a veteran administrator who could move seamlessly into the role and could offer District 64 up to the 100 days allowed by the retirement system regulations to bridge over to the end of the current school year. Mr. Padavic was interviewed by Dr. Heinz and a committee of District 64 staff members. A thorough reference check was also conducted before his selection for the post.
The search for a new permanent director to join the District 64 leadership team on July 1, 2018 will be launched early in 2018. The search will follow the District’s standard hiring procedure for administrators, which includes a multi-step screening and interview process. The interview team typically includes both general and special education staff, building and central office administrators, a Board of Education member, and several District or building parents, depending on the position.