CRESCENT CITY — Rod Grimsley decided he wasn’t ready to fully retire after all.

Rod Grimsley Aug. 21


The former Gifford Grade School superintendent who retired from that position at the end of June has been hired as superintendent of the Crescent-Iroquois Grade School district in Iroquois County.

“It just happened real quick,” Grimsley said. “Their superintendent (Jeffrey Alstadt) left to go to Wisconsin, and they wanted to hire an interim superintendent and full-time principal. I called, they hired me in July, and I started Aug. 1.”

Grimsley will serve only as interim superintendent. As Grimsley did in his final year helming the Gifford school, someone else will hold the principal’s job (Jim DeMay).

At Gifford, Jay Smith, who served as principal for one year, stepped into the joint role of superintendent/principal at Gifford on July 1.

Grimsley, who is 54, said the six weeks he had off were refreshing and the first time he’d had that much down time since he was 13. But he didn’t want to make it permanent.  

“I realized I needed something to do and keep me on somewhat of a schedule,” Grimsley said.

He has been in education for 33 years and had served at Gifford for eight of those.

Grimsley’s contract spans 100 days, meaning he will have to be make the 55-mile trip from his home in St. Joseph to Crescent City only a couple of days a week.

Grimsley said the C-I school board will have to make a decision for next school year whether it wants to keep the superintendent’s and principal’s positions separate. Alstadt, who had been at Crescent-Iroquois for two years, was a combination superintendent/principal.

The Crescent-Iroquois Grade School district is similar to Gifford in that Grimsley will be in charge of a K-8 building. He estimated enrollment at “between 70 and 75.”

One difference, however, is that the district has a deactivated high school and is responsible for busing high schoolers to their choice of either Watseka, Gilman or Cissna Park high schools. The district pays tuition to those high school districts.