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posted: 4/14/2012 5:30 AM

New board member, principals in District 21

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With a new superintendent, new principals at two schools and a new board member, Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 is getting a makeover this spring in preparation for the next school year.

On Thursday, Christy Jensby-Demaret was appointed the new principal at Poe Elementary School for the 2012-2013 year. Jensby-Demaret taught special education in Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and was an assistant principal at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights for several years.

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"She's very familiar with our community and comes highly recommended so we're just very excited to have her come to Poe," said Pat McAndrews Smith, assistant superintendent for human resources. She added that Jensby-Demaret has strong leadership and instruction skills.

At the March 15 board meeting, Rick Aceves was named the new principal at Walt Whitman Elementary School. Aceves works in Barrington Area Unit District 220 as the director of bilingual education and previously worked as an assistant principal in Barrington and Highland Park.

"We liked his overall leadership abilities and experience, but he also has a strong background in bilingual education which is important for Whitman," McAndrews Smith said. Whitman has a large bilingual education program.

Also on Thursday, the District 21 Board of Education named Debbi McAtee to fill Elva Arreola's vacant board position after Arreola resigned earlier this year to spend more time with family.

Superintendent Gary Mical announced his retirement last month after 10 years with the district, and Kate Hyland, associate superintendent for curriculum and learning, was named to the post.

"We're going to miss the people who are leaving terribly, but we're very excited about the people we've hired recently and where they're going to take the district," McAndrews Smith said. "Overall, we're very optimistic and looking forward to next year."

District 21 serves more than 7,000 students in preschool through eighth grade from Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights.

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