The 2012-2013 school year will include a slew of new faces in the administrative ranks of Mount Prospect Elementary District 57.
One of them will belong to Jason Kaiz, who will be the new principal at Lincoln Middle School.
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"I'm really excited," Kaiz said Thursday. "I grew up in Deerfield and I've lived in the area my whole life, so I was familiar with District 57 already. During the interview process, I saw just how forward-looking the district and school are. It will be great to be a principal in that environment."
Kaiz, who will earn a base salary of $115,200 to start, comes to Lincoln from Attea Middle School in Glenview District 34. He's the assistant principal at Attea.
Prior to his service in Glenview, Kaiz worked as an administrator in Glencoe and a seventh-grade teacher in Skokie.
"We're so fortunate to be getting him," District 57 Superintendent Elaine Aumiller said. "I'm very impressed by his background. He'll be an excellent leader."
Kaiz will replace current Lincoln principal Donald Angelaccio, who will leave the district after the school year to become the assistant superintendent in Prospect Heights Elementary District 23.
"The job is the natural next step in my career," Angelaccio said. "I like the climate and culture in District 23, and I already know many administrators there, since it's so close by."
Angelaccio, who spent eight years as principal at Lincoln, was instrumental in the school's transition from a junior high to a middle school. The middle-school approach, among other differences, places a stronger emphasis on the specific developmental skills and needs of the students, he said.
"It took us about four years to make that transition, and the last four have been refining the model," he said. "I'm proud of what we did, and so grateful to all at Lincoln and in the district who helped along the way."
Aumiller said District 57 would miss Angelaccio.
Additional administrative changes have either been made or are in the works.
April Jordan, principal of Fairview Elementary School, is leaving at the end of the school year to become principal at The Skokie School in Winnetka District 36. District 57 has just begun a search for her replacement, Aumiller said.
Jordan, a popular principal, went through a tough few months in 2009 when the school board voted not to renew her contract, then reversed course and rehired her. Jordan declined to comment on her new job.
Another new administrator will be Cassie Black, who will be the district's director of student services, starting July 1. Black, now an assistant principal in Wilmette, will replace Donna Toops, who is leaving for an administrative position in Avoca District 37, also based in Wilmette.
Aumiller said the turnover is a challenge, but she doesn't think it indicates any fundamental problems in District 57.
"People want new challenges, new environments, and sometimes these come in a cluster," she said. "It's challenging because we're not a huge district, so this is a big part of our administrative team. But we've been very fortunate so far with the applicant pools we've seen, and I know we'll be in great shape when the new school year begins."