An educator who has risen from teaching to hold leadership positions in Villa Park-Lombard Elementary District 45 will become the district's next superintendent starting July 1.
Anthony Palmisano, principal at Jackson Middle School, was chosen Tuesday night to become superintendent upon the retirement of current top administrator Janice M. Rosales.
Palmisano, 43, is in his 20th year with the district, where he began his teaching career as a seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher.
He said listening to district staff and community members and working to prepare students for tougher language arts and math requirements associated with so-called "Common Core" standards will be among his top priorities when he becomes superintendent.
"At the start, I'd like to build new relationships with students, parents, staff, community members and take the time to really listen," Palmisano said. "The Common Core is probably one of the main endeavors as we move forward."
Palmisano served as assistant principal at Jackson Middle School from 1998 to 2001 before becoming principal.
"As a new teacher, I planned on teaching for my entire career," he said. "As time went on, it seemed I was encouraged to step up to a leadership role."
During his time leading the middle school, which serves more than 680 students, Palmisano introduced programs designed to increase student and parent involvement, including the fall musical, competitive soccer and walk-in registration, the district said Wednesday in a statement.
He was recognized in 2008 as a Key Contributor, an award he received for his role in raising $35,000 for a playground at an elementary that feeds into Jackson Middle School.
"I love the idea of the opportunity to serve in a way that is not necessarily possible as a teacher, to support those who are in the teaching field who are trying to do what's best for kids," Palmisano said. "I feel like this is my opportunity to create that environment."
Palmisano has a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a master's degree in educational administration and an educational specialist degree from Northern Illinois University, where he is pursuing a doctorate in educational administration.
His salary as superintendent will be $175,000.