- Board of Education
- District Calendar
- Superintendent's Message
- BOE Q&A
- Did You Know
Last night, the Board of Education accepted the resignation of Lincoln Principal Dr. Don Angelaccio, who will be leaving at the end of the school year to become the new assistant superintendent of schools for Prospect Heights District 23. This is a great opportunity for Don, but we are sad to see him go, as we will miss his heart, humor, leadership and innovation.
I have spoken with Assistant Principal Randy Steen at length, and after much reflection, he has decided to stay in his current position. He feels this is the best thing for him, the students and Lincoln. I am thankful that he will play an active role in selecting a new principal and in the transition.
Under Don's leadership for the past eight years, Lincoln has experienced tremendous success, becoming one of the highest ranked middle schools in the state. Results on tests such as the ISAT and EXPLORE high school placement exam have improved steadily throughout Don's tenure. On the ISAT, 95 percent of students meet or exceed state standards, making Lincoln one of the top 50 middle schools in Illinois. On the EXPLORE, our eighth graders consistently outperform their peers from other schools feeding into District 214.
Don spearheaded the effort to convert Lincoln from a junior high to a middle school, a change that became official in 2006. The transition was all about creating an atmosphere that does a better job of meeting adolescent learning needs. Every aspect of the school became more child-centered, including instruction, scheduling, teaching assignments, the teaming approach and extracurricular offerings. I believe the changes that Don initiated as Lincoln went through this evolution play a major role in the school's success today.
Don also has been an innovator in communicating and fostering a positive relationship with parents and students. Lincoln was the first school in the District to go electronic for communication that is sent home, and Don was the first principal to develop a blog. Middle school parents know how difficult it can be to stay aware, but Don and his team have done a great job of overcoming this obstacle. The students have deep admiration for their principal, and he for them. Anyone who has witnessed him interacting with individual students or leading an assembly can see how tremendously popular, yet respected, he is. He has played a major role in turning Lincoln into an experience that students look back on fondly as they move on to Prospect High School.
For all of these contributions and many others, the Illinois Principals’ Association named Don Principal of the Year for Illinois in 2009. It was richly deserved and a great honor not only for Don but for all of District 57.
And so it will be difficult to say goodbye to "Dr. A.," who has made such an impact on Lincoln, its staff members and families, and our entire District. But I want to assure you that we will move quickly to find a new Lincoln principal who can build upon the successes of the past several years.
The job will be posted today. Administration will review the candidates and present the best ones to an interview team including parents, teachers and educational support personnel. Dr. Susan Woodrow, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, will facilitate the process. Don and Randy will be part of it. Our goal is to bring a final candidate to the Board by the March business meeting. Once a candidate is approved, there will be a chance for the community to meet the new principal. I hope this person will have opportunities to transition into Lincoln throughout the rest of the school year. He or she will officially start July 1.
On another note this week, I also learned that Donna Toops, Director of Student Services, will be leaving District 57 to be Director of Pupil Services at Avoca School District 37 effective July 1. Donna has done wonderful work for the children of our District in the year and half that she has been with us. She has overseen special education and other programs and services, building relationships with staff members and District 57 families. She has been a strong educational leader and advocate for students who use special services. We look forward to the time remaining in the current school year to benefit from her skills and passion. We will miss her contributions, but we wish her the best in her future endeavors.
The Board will act on Donna's resignation in February. We will then begin the process of filling the responsibilities of this position. Once this process is determined, I will send a follow-up message.
We will keep you updated on the processes to fill these administrative vacancies. Until then, please join me in thanking Don and Donna for everything they have done for District 57 and wishing them the best in the next chapters of their careers.