Congratulations to these alumni who are making a positive impact on the leadership and administration of education at all levels!
Mitchell Berenson, Ed.S. Educational Administration, ’16, Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction-Curriculum Leadership, ’17, M.S.Ed. Educational Administration, ’03, and M.S.Ed. Counseling, ’99, has been named interim principal of Urbana High School in Urbana School District 16. Bererson will serve for the 2019-2020 school year. He previously has taught social studies and driver’s education, and has served as a guidance counselor, in Illinois school districts.
Jason Brogan, M.S.Ed. Educational Administration, ’19, M.S.Ed. Literacy Education, ’12, and B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, ’07, is the new assistant principal at Woods Creek Elementary School in Crystal Lake District 47. Brogan, who has worked in District 47 since 2007, previously taught a fourth- and fifth-grade multiage classroom at Woods Creek as well as at Indian Prairie Elementary School and Bernotas Middle School. He also has served as an English language arts/social studies facilitator at the district’s CORE Center, and is a certified firefighter and EMT with the Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District.
Angela Carvell, B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, ’11, was named assistant principal at Lundahl Middle School in Crystal Lake District 47. She previously taught middle school for seven years in McHenry District 15 and Yorkville District 115.
Zachary Craft, B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, ’12, is the new principal of Highland School in Downers Grove Grade School District 58. District leaders say Craft “possesses high expectations for student learning, supports the success of teachers and excels at building collaborative relationships with school communities. He also has a deep understanding of current teaching practices and pedagogy.” Craft formerly was the assistant principal of Bristol Bay Elementary School in Yorkville Community Unit School District 115.
Meggan Dacy, B.S.Ed. Early Childhood Education, ’02, has been named assistant director of Special Education at Crystal Lake District 47’s CORE Center. Dacy’s 12-year career in District 47 has included teaching positions at Wehde Early Childhood Center and South Elementary School and work as a Local Education Agency coordinator. Prior to her arrival in District 47, she as an early childhood special education teacher for four years in Barrington School District 211.
Courtney DeArmond, M.S.Ed. Literacy Education with Focus on Reading, ’10, is the new principal of Jefferson Elementary School, part of the Manitowoc Public School District in Wisconsin. DeArmond, who previously taught fifth-grade at Jefferson, most recently served as assistant principal at Wilson Middle School in Manitowoc. She also has taught in other Wisconsin and Illinois school districts.
Romy DeCristofaro, M.S.Ed. Educational Administration, ’08, M.S.Ed. Special Education, ’06, and B.S.Ed. Special Education, ’03, was named executive director for Special Services in Evanston School District 65. She previously served as the administrator for Student Services in Wilmette District 39, as a learning behavior specialist in District 39 and as a learning facilitator in Sycamore District 427.
Maggie Fitzgerald, B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, ’05, is the new assistant principal at Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake District 47. Fitzgerald, who joined District 47 two years ago as an instructional coach, previously taught middle school for a decade at Marquardt District 15 in Glendale Heights.
Lynn Gibson, Ed.D. Educational Administration, and Ed.S. Educational Administration, ’13, and M.S.Ed. Educational Administration, ’92, will serve until Dec. 31, 2019, as a mentor to Eve Phillips, the new principal at Paw Schools in Paw Community Unit School District 271. Gibson, the former superintendent of Hononegah Community High School District 207, is currently a visiting assistant professor in the NIU Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations.
Evan Kozlowski, M.S.Ed. Educational Administration, ’11, has been named assistant principal at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake District 47. The appointment returns Kozlowski to the school where he taught physical education from 2005 to 2007. He has spent the last 13 years coaching and teaching health/physical education and driver’s education in McHenry School District 156; while there, he took on the role of instructional leader and worked to develop the physical education department into a state-recognized Blue Ribbon program in 2018.
Michelle Laird, B.S.Ed. Special Education, ’95, is the new director of Special Education in Troy School District 30-C in Plainfield. Laird previously served as assistant director of Student Services at Valley View School District 365U in Romeoville and, before that, was a special education administrator with Grundy County Special Education Cooperative. Laird began her career as a special education teacher.
Irene Villa, Ed.S. Educational Administration, ’16, and B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, ’99, has been named principal at Fischer Elementary School in Elmhurst Unit District 205. Villa most recently served as the assistant principal at Gary Elementary School, a kindergarten- through fifth-grade dual language school in West Chicago. She previously was a bilingual associate and bilingual reading specialist in Elgin District U-46, and served as a Student Services coordinator in Naperville/Aurora Indian Prairie School District 204, as an assistant principal in Aurora District 131, and as a principal in Glenview.
Leslie Weber, Ed.S. Educational Administration, ’18, and B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, ’98, was named director of Curriculum in Elmhurst Unit District 205. She most recently served as principal of Jefferson Elementary School for five years. Weber was an assistant principal for two years at Wolf’s Crossing Elementary School in Oswego Community Unit School District 308; she previously taught for seven years in Carol Stream District 93 and seven years in Plainfield District 202.
Amanda Wilmer, M.S.Ed. Early Childhood Special Education, ’07, is the new assistant director of Student Services at Bolingbrook High School in Valley View School District 365U. She previously had been a special education teacher at Jane Addams Middle School, where she began her teaching career in 2003. For the past six years there, she co-taught sixth-grade math, served as a sponsor to the student council and mentored new teachers.