After over 53 years in public education and 32½ years serving as RPS Superintendent, Dr. Michael Shibler notified the Board of Education in June 2021 of his plan to retire in December of this year.
In his letter, Dr. Shibler stated that he had been considering retirement prior to the onset of COVID, however, with the added challenges and burdens the pandemic placed on school districts, he decided to see the district through the start of the 2021-22 school year. In addition, he wanted to wrap up work on RAMS XI, the district’s next three-year strategic plan for continuous improvement. Dr. Shibler went on to express confidence in his cabinet and administrative team and believes their leadership will continue to move the district forward.
Because Dr. Shibler’s retirement comes mid-school year, the Board determined it would be in the district’s best interest to postpone its search for his replacement to allow potential candidates the opportunity to complete the school year at their established districts. Therefore, it was necessary to identify an interim superintendent to lead the district following Dr. Shibler’s departure. At its September 13, 2021 meeting, the Board of Education unanimously approved Dr. Shibler’s recommendation to appoint Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Korie Wilson-Crawford as the district’s interim superintendent effective January 1, 2022.
Ms. Wilson-Crawford has served in her current role at Rockford Public Schools since June 2018, and brings with her extensive knowledge and experience in public school administration. In the 17 years leading up to joining RPS, Ms. Wilson-Crawford served in both teaching and multiple leadership roles at Greenville Public Schools. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, is a Certified Human Resource Specialist, a certified Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education and Organizational Leadership at Vanderbilt University.
“Rockford Public Schools is a great district because of Dr. Shibler and the entire RPS team, and I look forward to working alongside our staff as Interim Superintendent,” Ms. Wilson-Crawford stated. “I am committed to providing a welcoming and academically challenging environment that allows all students the opportunity for success. Our staff are doing amazing work, we have a very supportive community, and I am looking forward to continuing Rockford’s tradition of excellence in this interim role.”
Dr. Shibler describes Ms. Wilson-Crawford as an “innovative educational leader who remains connected to the classroom and the importance of maintaining a clear focus on the mission of our district and service to our community. She demonstrates wisdom and a knack for skillfully and thoroughly assessing situations, resulting in sound decision-making. Korie is well respected and is of the highest integrity. I am confident the district will continue to thrive under Korie’s leadership.”
This fall, the Board of Education will select a search firm specializing in superintendent searches to assist in the critical task of identifying the next superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools. The process will include gathering input from various stakeholder groups in early 2022 to identify the qualities and characteristics important to the district and community. It is the Board’s goal to conduct interviews in March and April and to have a contract negotiated with the successful candidate to begin July 1, 2022.
Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent of Schools