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Tri-Valley's David Mouser to head District 87 schools

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock
District 87 has announced new leadership. Tri-Valley Superintendent Dave Mouser will head D-87 starting in July of 2022.

David Mouser will be the next superintendent of Bloomington Public Schools, according to District 87 Board President Mark Wylie. Mouser will replace Barry Reilly when Reilly retires in July 2022.

Thirty-seven candidates applied for the position. The Ray and Associates search firm recommended 11 candidates to the school board. The board interviewed six candidates and narrowed the pool to three finalists. After interviewing the three candidates, Mouser was selected as the final choice for superintendent, according to a district news release.

“On behalf of the District 87 Board of Education, I am honored to say we are excited about Dr. Mouser becoming our next Superintendent. We did a nationwide search and arrived at the best candidate being in our same county,” said Mark Wylie, president of the District 87 school board.

The Board of Education will make the official vote for his selection at the Dec. 8 board meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Bloomington High School.

Mouser currently serves as superintendent of Tri-Valley CUSD #3 in Downs. He has held that post since 2014 and has spent 25 years in education. Tri-Valley is a suburban and rural district. District 87 is urban.

Wylie said he is confident Mouser will navigate that shift in emphasis.

"Naming a superintendent this early will allow a lot of cooperation between Dr. Mouser and Dr. Reilly," said Wylie. "Anyone we talked to about Dave was so positive about him and how he worked with people. We're confident he will be able to make that change."

Wylie said the major challenge Mouser will face is similar to what he faces in Tri-Valley.

"The aftereffect of the pandemic. We didn't have kids in school pretty much for a year and a half. bringing them back in and the social emotional things they and the teachers are going through. The leadership starts at the top. That is the major thing he has dealt with there and I'm sure it will be here as well," said Wylie.

District 87 has an ongoing structural budget deficit. It has been manageable so far, but every year the interest expense rises and the deficit widens. Wylie acknowledged Mouser will be asked to deal with that issue as well, though he said the board did not set a timeline for that task.

"I am humbled and excited to have been chosen as the next Superintendent of Schools for District 87. Having grown up and served as a school leader in McLean County, I understand and appreciate the history, success, and diversity celebrated in District 87," said Mouser. "Through the hiring process, it became very clear to me that the District is filled with a talented and dedicated staff, a school board committed to the children they serve, and a leadership team ready and willing to continually improve. To be chosen to serve the families of District 87 in this capacity is a true honor."

Mouser has previously served as an agriculture/science teacher, a middle school principal and a high school principal. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education. He earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Illinois University in 2014. He also holds advanced certifications in educational administration, including principal and superintendent endorsements from Illinois State University.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.