Momentum is important. That’s especially true in Proviso Township High Schools, where District 209 spent a decade in full reverse gear before a grassroots revolution five years back began a comeback that has touched students, families, teachers, failing facilities and Proviso communities, which had been failed by these miserable schools.

The news of recent months that Supt. Jesse Rodriguez, the architect of much of the progress, would decamp for a leadership position in Zion has been painful. And that increases the urgency for this board to find the next great leader.

So word over the weekend that the school board walked away from three finalists for the superintendent’s post and will start from scratch on its search takes a moment to absorb. An interim superintendent will be appointed in May and it resurrects flashbacks to the dismal days when the same interim superintendent was recycled multiple times during chaotic years.

We have much higher expectations for this school board and we believe all of Proviso is united in forward progress. It brings us to our most often repeated advice to the school boards across districts we cover: Hiring a superintendent is the single most important decision a school board ever gets to make. If none of the three finalists made this board’s collective heart flutter, then walking away was most certainly the right decision.

Disappointed and worried? Sure, some. But also proud that this board made this hard choice to begin anew.

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