District 289 hires new superintendent

K. Bradley Cox

MENDOTA – The Mendota Elementary School District 289 Board of Education has announced the approval of a contract for the district’s next superintendent, K. Bradley Cox. He will succeed current superintendent Dr. Kristen School upon her retirement on June 30, 2021. The three-year contract was approved on Nov. 20 at a special board meeting.

“After an extensive search and several hours of interviews with numerous leaders, we believe that Mr. Cox is the best choice for our district,” said Board President Sean Pappas. “The process we used included input and feedback from teachers, administrators, parents and the community, recognizing that the individual serving in this role is an integral pillar of leadership in our role.”

Cox is currently in his 19th year as a Superintendent of Schools in rural Illinois communities. He began his educational career at Riverton High School as a science teacher and coach, followed by the Junior-Senior High principalship in Greenview. Mendota Elementary will be his fifth superintendency with the previous four (Donovan, Tri-Valley, Erie, Beecher) being in unit districts providing him with a great perspective of not only elementary education, but also the needs of our graduating eighth graders.

“I believe that children should be at the center of each decision that a school makes,” said Cox. “I practice leadership through service, to foster positive relationships built on trust, respect, communication and transparency.” He was described as an inspirational leader with the ability to handle difficult situations with utmost dignity and consideration by former colleagues and board members.

The union membership at his current district voted and expressed a 98 percent rating of support for Cox.

As part of the final decision process, the Mendota Elementary 289 Board of Education hosted a community conversation with two finalist candidates. Questions were asked by administrators, teachers and parents and written feedback was provided by all attendees to the board. Feedback reflected confidence in Cox’s depth of experience and his student-centric leadership.

Cox has an extensive background in finance and human resources and holds degrees from Illinois State University and Eastern Illinois University. During his career, Cox has been a regional and statewide presenter on 1:1 technology implementation, staff professional development, and alternative energy for schools.

Cox will be relocating to the area with his wife Janna. They have three sons, Will, Alex and Adam. Adam will be attending third grade at Lincoln Elementary School in Mendota next year.

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