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updated: 5/25/2011 8:32 AM

School leadership changes in Kildeer District 96

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By Betsy Fresen
Kildeer-Countryside Elementary District 96 submission

At the May 17 regular meeting of the Kildeer Countryside CCSD 96 board of education, the board accepted with very deep regret the resignation of Twin Groves Principal Jeff Brown, effective June 30.

Brown began at Woodlawn when the middle school opened in 1999.

During his years in District 96, Brown has been called upon to work in a variety of significant roles. As a classroom teacher and in administrative positions as Twin Groves Middle School assistant principal (2005--2007), as Country Meadows Elementary principal (2007--2010), and, currently, as Twin Groves principal, he has actively demonstrated commitment to students and staff and has seen student achievement increase substantially during his tenure.

In his new role, Brown will continue to keep student growth his focus. He has accepted a position with educational publisher Solution Tree, assessing and matching the professional development needs of educators with resources and strategies to help equip their students to succeed.

The board has appointed Heather Friziellie to succeed Brown as Twin Groves Middle School principal, effective Aug. 1. An experienced and highly regarded educator, Friziellie already has a close working relationship with newly appointed Twin Groves Assistant Principal Amy Gluck. For the past two years, they have collaborated in job-alike professional development, helping teachers to increase student achievement in the area of reading.

Friziellie is currently Kildeer Countryside Elementary School principal, a position she has held since August 2006. Before coming to District 96 she was principal of a Naperville school with more than 750 students, an assistant principal, and an instructional coordinator. She also has been a technology curriculum specialist and a classroom teacher.

A lifelong learner, she holds a B.S. and administrative certification from Indiana University and a master's degree in education from Indiana Wesleyan. She is in the dissertation phase of her doctoral degree.

"My approach to being a principal is based on my belief that everyone in the school plays important roles and shares in the goal of helping everyone achieve," Friziellie said.

"With a well-developed understanding of the district's culture and work as a professional learning community and significant and varied experience as an educator, Mrs. Friziellie is ideally suited to serve as Twin Groves Middle School principal," Superintendent Julie Schmidt noted. "In addition, she recognizes the importance of partnering with parents."

"She is a compassionate educator who will bring energy and enthusiasm to her role as Twin Groves Middle School principal," Board President Marc Tepper agreed. "As a poised professional who has earned the respect of teachers district wide, she is a great fit for the Twin Groves community."

Jennifer Smith will succeed Heather Friziellie as principal of Kildeer Countryside School Aug. 1.

Smith came to District 96 as a classroom teacher in 2002 and currently is the special education coordinator. In this role, she has worked closely with Schmidt for five years and has contributed as a member of the district's leadership team.

Smith holds a bachelor's degree in special education from Northeastern Illinois University and a master's in education from Northern Illinois University. Currently, she is in the dissertation phase of her doctoral degree.

"Her broad experiences as a classroom teacher and as an administrator have been excellent preparation for Mrs. Smith's new responsibilities as Kildeer School principal," Schmidt said. "From the first, she has been centrally involved in the district's development as a Professional Learning Community and has a keen understanding of what students and their teachers need to succeed."

Board members agree. Tepper said, "Mrs. Smith has proved herself to be a student-focused leader, dedicated to helping all children in our district reach their potential. She is a warm and collaborative professional who has earned the respect of colleagues and the district community.

"Mrs. Smith is a highly qualified and appropriate choice to lead faculty and staff in continuing to increase student achievement at Kildeer Countryside Elementary School."

To ensure continuity for students and faculty, the board and administrators have planned for 2011 retiree Marie Schalke, principal of Twin Groves from 2005--2010, to serve as an interim administrator during Friziellie's maternity leave of absence. Friziellie will return to her role shortly after the 2011-12 school year begins.