Carmel Unified School District

  • New Superintendent Selected

    Posted by Board President Dr. John Ellison at 1/18/2017 9:35:00 AM

    Finalist Selected for Superintendent Position in Carmel Unified School District


    Dr. Barbara Dill-Varga, an Assistant Superintendent from one of America’s 14 most innovative school districts according to Tech Insider, has been selected to lead the Carmel Unified School District as its new Superintendent.


    Following a series of all-day candidate interviews on Friday, January 13, 2017, the Carmel Unified School District Board of Trustees has selected Barb as the sole finalist. Barb is currently completing her eighth year as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge, Illinois.


    “Carmel Unified is getting one of the nation’s very best proven leaders in Dr. Dill-Varga. She is a craftsman leader who works extremely well with people to carefully analyze strengths and weaknesses based on measurable data, build consensus through strategic planning and then execute plans over time while staying nimble and mindful of creating capacity in students, staff and community members to focus on continuous improvement.  This will be a tremendous loss for us, but I am happy for Carmel Unified and know that Barb will be an exceptional Superintendent,” said Maine Township High School District 207 Superintendent Ken Wallace.


    Dr. Dill-Varga was selected as the finalist from an outstanding field of candidates. The Board will conduct a site visit to Maine Township HSD 207 in the coming weeks.  Representative members of the Carmel School community -- teachers, staff, administrators, parents, students and other community members -- will be invited to participate in a “site visit” via a videoconference.  Details of the latter are being worked out by the Board and Dr. Dill-Varga.  Following a positive site visit and successful contract negotiations, the Board expects to take action to confirm an offer of employment to Dr. Dill-Varga at its February 15, 2017 regularly scheduled Board meeting.


    Dr. Dill-Varga added: “I am honored to be chosen as Carmel Unified’s next superintendent.  This district clearly is already focused on making sure all students are learning and achieving at high levels. I have learned, from years of working with our K-8 partner schools on curricular and instructional alignment, that student success in high school is absolutely dependent on the wonderfully positive educational experiences they encounter when they first walk in the door of their preschool or kindergarten. I hope to contribute my passion for teaching and learning, my experience working with teachers on research based instructional strategies, and my understanding of the important partnerships that exist between all of our schools, the family, and the community to continue and build upon Carmel’s fine legacy of excellence.”


    Carmel Unified Board President John Ellison said, “Dr. Dill-Varga has extensive experience and proven leadership skills which will be critical to the district as we continue to improve the educational experience of each child.  We are pleased with the direction the district as a whole has taken over the past few years and want to thank all of our staff who have helped us move forward.  We believe that Dr. Dill-Varga will be instrumental in leading our students to even greater success in all aspects of their lives.”


    Dr. Dill-Varga has had a distinguished career beginning first as a high school English teacher and English department chair in Glenbard District 87 (Glen Ellyn, IL). She next served as an associate principal for instruction and later as assistant superintendent in Glenbrook HSD 225 in Glenview/Northbrook, IL. She moved to Maine HSD 207 in 2009 to assume the position as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.  In addition, she is an adjunct professor for Concordia University-Chicago.


    Dr. Dill-Varga has a B.A. in English from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), a Masters in English from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), and a Doctorate degree from Loyola University-Chicago in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Administration and Supervision.


    Barb currently resides in Glen Ellyn, IL with her husband Steve Varga, who has his MBA from University of New Haven (New Haven, CT). He has had a successful career as Regional Manager for Mapes & Sprowl Steel LTD. They have one son, Alex, who has his Masters in Accounting and Finance from the University of Illinois, and has recently relocated to Los Angeles to work for Creative Artists Agency as a member of their Global Client Strategy Department.


    For additional information, please contact CUSD Board President John Ellison at




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  • Community Message

    Posted by Board President Dr. John Ellison at 1/5/2017

    The Carmel School Board received an excellent response from potential candidates for the position of Superintendent of Schools, with many qualified applicants.  As part of the superintendent search process, the Carmel School Board reviewed all applicants and determined the candidates who were the closest match to the input received by the staff and community.  


    Candidates selected to interview with the Board have been notified and the interviews will take place as part of a closed session process on January 13th and January 14th.

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  • Community Message

    Posted by Board President Dr. John Ellison at 12/22/2016

    Leadership Associates, Carmel Unified's Superintendent Search firm, has reported that the position closed at 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 5th. They received 27 requests for applications and 19 completed applications were submitted.

    The applicants include 9 women, 10 men, with 3 from outside of California. 

    The Carmel School Board is looking forward to the rest of the process which will include reviewing all of the applications, choosing and interviewing the finalists, making a selection of the top candidate, and potentially a site visit to the top candidate's district/community.   


    Following the site visit, the Board will approve the contract of employment and appoint the new Superintendent at a regularly scheduled Board Meeting.


    A tentative timeline is posted below.



    Thank you for your interest in this important process. 

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  • Community Message

    Posted by Board President Mark Stilwell at 9/19/2016

    The Carmel Unified School District Board of Education has voted unanimously to retain Leadership Associates Executive Search Advisors, Don Iglesias, Sally Frazier and Peggy Lynch, to conduct recruitment and a comprehensive search process for the selection of our next district superintendent, following the departure of former Superintendent Scott Laurence near the end of the last school year.  Under the guidance of the Board, Leadership Associates, which also conducted the prior search, held numerous meetings and other forms of communication with all District stakeholders, including parents, staff, and community members, to help guide the Board in its development of a detailed position description for a Superintendent who would best fit the needs of CUSD.   The existing position description is posted on our district website and will be used to form the basis of the new position description.  Before the new position description is finalized, however, the Board welcomes any additional input from stakeholders in the community.  Additional community input on the position description, or any other aspects of the search, may be communicated directly to the search advisors from October 3rd through October 14th (see consultant contact information listed below).


    Leadership Associates will conduct this search at no charge to the District, other than limited out-of-pocket expenses for expenses related to advertisement and travel.  Leadership Associates has conducted over 300 superintendent searches including many basic aid school districts, with similar funding sources as Carmel Unified School District.  They will recruit candidates from both California and nationally to assist the Board in developing a qualified field of candidates from which the Board can select the best match for our district.  Leadership Associates conducts “confidential searches.”  It is their practice, and standard practice in the industry, that the names of the applicants are not shared publicly during the search process.  The reason for the confidential process is to allow the consultants to recruit sitting other top superintendents who are highly successful and well respected in their school districts and communities.  Many successful superintendents are reluctant or unwilling to apply for positions where their application is publicly announced prior to the Board determining the finalist.


    For additional information regarding the timeline and position description, please refer to the Carmel Unified School District website or contact Tricia Zarevich, Confidential Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent (  / 831-624-1546 ext. 2021). 


    You may send an e-mail to the consultants, or contact them via phone, during the input period, from October 3rd through October 14th, to express your views on any skills and characteristics you believe should be considered by the Board in addition to the comprehensive position description that has been developed.


    Search Consultant Contact Information:  You may send an e-mail to (Yolanda Beatty) to communicate any information to the consultants, Don Iglesias, Sally Frazier, or Peggy Lynch, or you may call (408) 288.9670 to ask to speak with one of them directly.   The identity of anyone who communicates with Leadership Associates will be held by them in strict confidence, but the substance of your communication will be conveyed to the Board of Trustee.


    Any questions about the Board’s decision to conduct a search or about this press release may be directed to the Board President, Mark Stilwell, at his email address:


    Additional Documents Attached (click on the link to open):


    Thank you for your interest in this important process. 

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