Houselog Prepares for New Role

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Growing pains won't be a problem for new Belvidere School District Superintendent Michael Houselog. Both Belvidere and the North Boone School District are getting about seven percent more students each year. However, Belvidere's student body is four times the size Houselog is used to, causing a major challenge in the high schools.

"You're really revamping your two-op from your one high school to two and you have a national movement going on in high school reform it's a great time," Houselog says.

Houselog wants to put together a five-year plan that targets the district's growth, improves curriculum and helps obtain better financing. He also hopes the community will get more involved with important decisions.

"They have some general communication issues that got off on the wrong foot and I'd like to be able to work with them for some long term planning so people aren't feeling so caught off guard with info that comes from the district," he says.

While the challenges are very similar, Houselog says Belvidere will further his career. And of course his bank account. His base salary is 165-thousand dollars, 40-thousand more than he was making at North Boone. So it was worth it to him to break his contract, which in January he extended through 2009.

The North Boone School District will now hire a firm that searches for Houselog's replacement. Board president Don Ward says searches like these usually take at least three months. So most likely a former Superintendent will take over for the interim since school starts in less than two months.

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