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updated: 5/15/2012 12:51 AM

D300 names new hires

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  • Craig Zieleniewski

    Craig Zieleniewski

  • Colleen O'Keefe

    Colleen O'Keefe


A longtime Community Unit District 300 educator will shift from one principal role to another, while a one-time legal adviser to the district will move into an administrative role that district leaders say will result in significant savings.

The District 300 Board of Education on Monday approved Craig Zieleniewski as the new principal of Gilberts Elementary School, succeeding Jeff King, who had served as the school's principal since it opened in 2007.

Zieleniewski, who has served as principal at Perry Elementary School in Carpentersville for the past six years, will take over July 1.

"I am excited and am ready for a change," Zieleniewski said after Monday's board meeting.

"My home is only a couple of miles from Gilberts, so it is exciting for me to be working in the community I live in."

Zieleniewski began his educational career as a sixth-grade teacher at Westfield Community School in Algonquin before moving to Perry as assistant principal in 2004.

"His strong educational leadership and knowledge made him an excellent choice to become the next Gilberts principal," said Kristin Corriveau, assistant superintendent for elementary teaching and learning.

In addition, the board approved Colleen O'Keefe as the district's human resources chief legal counsel.

O'Keefe, who will join the district June 4, will provide the district with in-house counsel.

O'Keefe has advised the district for the past few years as an attorney with Chicago-based law firm Franczek Radelet.

District leaders say O'Keefe's hiring will result in significant savings in legal fees for the district.

"Colleen's role will be primarily targeted toward designing and maintaining educational structures and supports that attract, retain and develop our most important resource: human talent," District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy said.

"Her exemplary postsecondary work -- combined with her school law experience in traditional labor matters, contract interpretation and unfair labor practice procedures -- will enhance the effectiveness of our leadership team."

O'Keefe replaces John Light, who is stepping down as the district's director of human resources.

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