At the start of a new school year, I reflect about the talented, diverse and exceptional school district I have the incredible opportunity to lead.
As the largest employer in the community, Wheaton-Warrenville Unit District 200 has a legacy of producing well-educated and successful students who are ready for college or a career. Our district motto is "Inspiring Excellence" -- I believe our principals, teachers and staff inspire excellence in our students daily.
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Get to know Brian HarrisEducation: Doctorate in education administration, Northern Illinois University; master's in education administration, Northern Illinois University; bachelors in secondary education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Career: Four years as a classroom teacher, seven years as an assistant principal, seven years as principal; became District 200 superintendent in July 2010
Inspirational quote: "Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." -- Daniel Boorstin, an American historian, professor, attorney and writer who served as the twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress
Enrollment: Just over 14,000
Certified teachers: More than 1,000
Budget: Projected at $153 million
To share with you a brief snapshot of our district, I've compiled a Top Ten Facts of District 200:
1. Over the last five years, we have graduated 80 National Merit Semifinalists.
2. Last year, 1,053 students took Advanced Placement courses. Over the past three years, our two high schools have increased participation in AP classes, thus earning the district the College Board's AP Honor Roll Certificate for two years in a row.
3. We have 15 all-day kindergarten classes across the district due to high demand from our parents.
4. English language learners continue to be a growing population of students in District 200. We have 1,100 English language learners who speak 67 languages.
5. District 200 employs approximately 1,650 employees, including 1,100 certified teachers.
6. We have 85 new teachers in the district.
7. Enrollment at the start of the 2013-14 school year is 13,396.
8. Pending board approval, in FY14, the district will budget $153 million in operating expenditures; 85 percent of the district operating budget is dedicated to the education fund.
9. We run 477 bus routes across the district daily.
10. District 200 serves students in Wheaton, Warrenville and portions of Carol Stream, Winfield and West Chicago to cover a 25.67-square-mile area.
Thank you for the tremendous community support of public education. We look forward to another successful school year.
• Brian Harris is superintendent of Wheaton-Warrenville Unit District 200. His column appears in Neighbor monthly during the school year.