A Message from Your Superintendent
I have exciting news to share! At our meeting last night, the School Board approved the hiring of Katherine (Katie) Kelly as the new principal of Lions Park School, effective Aug. 1. She replaces Kris Gritzmacher, who is retiring after 18 years at Lions Park. Katie currently is principal of Field Elementary School in Park Ridge, which serves kindergarten through fifth grade and is part of Park Ridge Niles District 64.
I believe that Katie is the perfect candidate to take the reins at Lions Park, where Kris has been such a strong leader and has made a positive difference for students, staff and families. Katie also cares deeply about students and works hard to ensure their diverse needs are met. I’m thankful that the interview team of parents, staff and administrators thought so highly of her. She’s a well-rounded educator who has been a leader on many school and district educational initiatives, plus she has classroom experience in all the grades that Lions Park serves.
Katie has been principal of Field since 2015; prior to that, she was assistant principal for six years. She also taught fourth and fifth grade at Roosevelt Elementary School in Park Ridge. She began her career teaching second grade and later fourth grade at Southeast School in Evergreen Park District 124. In addition to her school experience in the United States, Katie has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. In Ireland, she worked with at-risk students in disadvantaged elementary schools, helping them develop positive learning behaviors while providing literacy and math support.
Katie, who lives in Mount Prospect and has two young children, one of whom will start kindergarten at Westbrook next school year, will be a great fit on our strong team of principals. I know they will give her a lot of support to ensure a smooth transition, as will Lions Park staff.
Also at last night’s meeting, the Board approved the appointment of Una Durkan as assistant principal of Fairview, starting next school year. Una is currently student services coordinator at Fairview and previously taught there for 11 years. She is a widely respected educator and a natural fit for this newly created position that will be responsible for addressing legal mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Act and Performance Evaluation Reform Act, as well as providing student services support that was previously handled by school psychologists. (Please see yesterday’s email from Board president Joe Sonnefeldt for detailed information about the new assistant principal positions at Fairview, Lions Park and Westbrook.)
Please join me in welcoming Katie and congratulating Una!
Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools