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Iowa City superintendent to depart for new job

Next year the Iowa City School District will have to face its challenges with a new superintendent.
Last week the current superintendent, Lane Plugge, accepted a job as chief administrator of the Green Hills Area Education Agency, a newly minted AEA that will span 15 counties in western Iowa and serve 56 school districts, including schools in Creston and Council Bluffs.
Plugge said a large portion of his family, including his mother and three brothers, live in Nebraska, and this new position appealed to him because he will be able to closer to them.
“A big motivation for taking the job was family and getting closer to home,” Plugge said.
The position will pay him $180,000 a year plus benefits according to a press release from the Green Hills agency. Plugge’s current position pays him $174,021 a year. When he works his last day as superintendent on June 30, 2010, Plugge will have completed his 11th year with the Iowa City School District.
Patti Fields, president of the Iowa City School Board, said board members are disappointed to see Plugge go.
“The board was hopeful that Dr. Plugge would stay, but I certainly wish him well in his new endeavors and moving closer to his family,” Fields said.
To expedite hiring a new superintendent, the school board will hold a special meeting on Jan. 4 to discuss steps for filling the position.
Fields said she wants the candidates for the position to be strong communicators.
“Given the communities and diversity in our district, I think it is very important to find a leader who has a strong ability to communicate and work with others,” Fields said. “We will also need to gather opinions from our constituents as to the qualities that they would like to see in the next superintendent for the district.”