Tuesday, December 15, 2015

IASB General Counsel to retire;
replacement named

After 26 years of sterling service, Melinda Selbee has announced her retirement from the position of General Counsel to the Illinois Association of School Boards, effective June 30, 2016. Selbee began as a staff attorney and ultimately created the Office of General Counsel and became the Association’s first general counsel.

Notable among her many accomplishments is being the editor for the Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) since 1992, when she wrote the initial material for it. PRESS is the premier school policy service in the state. Selbee has managed IASB’s participation as Amicus Curiae in numerous appellate cases of statewide significance and developed course materials and trained school board members on legal topics, including mandatory board member training, Open Meetings Act, and bullying. Selbee has ensured the success of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys by promoting a collegial relationship among school attorneys.

“I have always relied heavily on Melinda’s expertise in law, policy, regulations, and legislation. I can always count on her advice and counsel,” said Roger Eddy, Executive Director of IASB. “She will truly be missed when she leaves in June.”

But the Association did not have to go far to find its second general counsel. Kimberly Small, IASB Assistant General Counsel, has accepted the position effective July 1, 2016. Small has been with the Association for 10 years, working for a short time in the Policy Services Department and serving as the assistant general counsel since the inception of the Office of General Counsel.

An internal Association notice for the position of general counsel was posted on December 1 to which Small applied. “We are fortunate that a greatly qualified and capable person for the vacant position is sitting in the office adjacent to Melinda’s,” Eddy stated. “Kimberly’s credentials are impressive, as is her ambition and passion.”

Prior to her tenure with IASB, Small practiced in litigation, most notably serving as the supervisor of the DuPage County Public Defender’s Juvenile Division. She has also worked as a litigator for a workers’ compensation insurance defense firm and as an assistant public defender in Kane County. Small retains membership in the Illinois Council of School Attorneys (ICSA); Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA); and the Association Corporate Counsel (ACC).

Small graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris and earned her Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., one of the nation’s top law schools for practical skills training and public interest law.

The loss of a long-time key staff person and replacing both positions in the Office of General Counsel will be a significant transition.  After the first of the year, the IASB will begin the process to post notice of the position of assistant general counsel.