Former Parkview and Eagleview Elementary School Principal Brad Landgraf resigned Friday to become the new superintendent of Millstadt Community Consolidated School District 160.
“It’s just simply the next step,” Landgraf said. “I’ve been at Columbia a long time and I’ve loved it. I’ve been at the building level a long time. It’s kind of just the next progression in my professional growth.
“These opportunities don’t come along very often. So I really thought this was my one opportunity and if I really wanted to get into district level administration, I needed to take a chance and try this.”
Landgraf worked in the Columbia school district for more than two decades in multiple positions.
“Columbia CUSD4 has been my life for the last 22 years,” Landgraf wrote in his resignation letter. “They have been a great 22 years, working with some of the best teachers, students, parents and administrators anyone could ask for.”
The district returned the favor as superintendent Gina Segobiano said she supported Landgraf’s decision to leave Columbia.
“I was aware Dr. Landgraf applied for the Millstadt position and wholeheartedly supported him pursuing this great opportunity for career advancement,” she said. “Millstadt school district is a great K-8 school district and I am confident Dr. Landgraf will do an excellent job. I’m thrilled to have Brad as a new superintendent colleague.”
Landgraf first heard about the job opening on July 1. After reading an article about a superintendent in a different school district, out of curiosity Landgraf searched to see if that district had posted a vacancy.
He did not intend to apply for that role, nor was he actively looking for a new job.
“Then, almost by accident, as I looked at the job openings on the Illinois Elementary School Association website, Millstadt popped up,” Landgraf said. “That certainly piqued my interest. Millstadt is one of the only, if not the only, school districts I would have applied at to be superintendent.”
Landgraf said the job got his attention for numerous reasons. It is close to Columbia, where he plans to still live. He also sees Millstadt as a similar, albeit smaller, community.
“I know a lot of people that I know and respect there,” he added. “It’s an excellent community. The school district has a great reputation.”
After seeing the job posting, Landgraf quickly prepared his materials and applied for the job.
He went through two rounds of interviews with the school board, which he said went well.
“Everything that we were talking about with schools, goals, objectives and expectations aligned,” he said. “I had a good rapport with the school board members just based on that initial meeting.”
Later the night after the second interview, the board contacted Landgraf to offer him the job. He officially accepted last week.
During his time in the Columbia school district, Landgraf said he has had the opportunity to perform jobs at the district level like being the supervisor of the technology department. He said those experiences will help him in his new role.
Nevertheless, Landgraf said he knows he has plenty to learn in the new position. He said he knows where to start.
“Education is a people business, so you have to take an interest in the people, both the staff and the students,” he explained. “So the first thing I’m going to do is get to know the staff and then when school starts get to know the parents. When you can build some trust, have high morale and a strong climate and culture within the district, students are going to thrive and teachers are going to work hard.”
To help him prepare for the role, Landgraf will attend a new superintendents workshop in August. He said he will also be open to suggestions from colleagues.
Landgraf specifically mentioned Segobiano as someone he may look to for counsel.
“I respect Dr. Segobiano so much and I know she’d be willing to assist me with any questions I have or be able to support me,” he said.