The Mount Prospect District 57 School Board has named Mary Gorr, Ed.D., as the District's next superintendent, effective July 1, 2021. She will replace Elaine Aumiller, Ed.D., who will retire after serving in the position for 12 years. Gorr has been with District 57 since 2011 and is currently assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. She served as principal of Westbrook School for Young Learners prior to that.
With help from educational search firm School Exec Connect, the School Board led a search that attracted more than 40 qualified applicants, according to Eileen Kowalczyk, Board president. "From the start, Mary stood out as an exceptional candidate," she says. "She has been an asset to the District, and we felt she would be a great fit for this important role. She has excelled in her current position and as a principal, she is a hard worker and liked by the community, and she's well-suited to lead through the many challenges a school district can face, including planning for the hurdles that the pandemic presents."
Aumiller, who announced her retirement last summer, agrees that Gorr will successfully lead District 57 in the years to come. "I was thrilled to hire Mary for her first administrative position 10 years ago, and then to advance her to my central office administrative team in 2019," Aumiller says. "She has worked closely with me, and I know her well. I have all the confidence in the world that she is the right candidate and will be a terrific next superintendent for District 57."
Aumiller adds that Gorr has been an innovative, responsive educational leader and has connected with parents, staff and the community. She is also loved by many current and former District 57 students who attended Westbrook while she was principal.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to become a superintendent and to do so in a school district that is so important to me, where I feel a deep connection and have built meaningful relationships with students, staff and families through the years," Gorr says. "Being hired as Westbrook principal was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I feel the same way now and am incredibly thankful to the Board, as well as to Dr. Aumiller for bringing me into the District and for her steady leadership through the years."
Gorr obtained her doctorate in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois, where she also earned a master's in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition, she is certified as a Chief School Business Officer (CSBO).
Gorr got her start as a classroom teacher in Glenview District 34, where she also served as summer school principal. She has been an adjunct professor at Judson University, teaching multicultural education and literacy courses to graduate students.
As Westbrook principal, Gorr oversaw 500 early childhood through first-grade students and 75 staff members. She implemented many new initiatives during her tenure, including schoolwide systems and structures related to data-informed decision making and a robust system of academic and social-emotional support for students. In 2015, the Illinois Parent Teacher Association named Gorr Outstanding Principal of the Year for Illinois. She was nominated for the prestigious honor by the Westbrook PTA. As District 57's assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, Gorr has managed the development and implementation of all educational programs for students and professional development for staff. She has also been a leader in planning learning models in response to COVID-19 and has worked closely with administrators, staff and parents to ensure needs are met during the difficult time.
"Coming from within, I am keenly aware of the challenges we face. But I'm also convinced that our District is a treasure, with incredible staff and families, and that we can deliver the highest quality and best possible outcome for our kids," Gorr says. "I am motivated to ensure we rise to the challenge of this moment. That will be my mission."
Gorr is married and the mother of three boys – Noah and Chase, who are five years old, and Bode, who is two years old.
District 57 serves approximately 2,230 pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students in the community of Mount Prospect, Ill., preparing them to learn and succeed in a changing world.