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updated: 12/20/2013 1:52 PM

West Chicago District 33 names next superintendent

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  • Charles Johns

    Charles Johns


An educator who began his career in the Northwest suburbs has been selected to become the next superintendent of West Chicago Elementary District 33.

Charles Johns, who currently serves as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Elmhurst Unit District 205, was named to his new post Thursday night by the District 33 school board. He will begin work in the district this coming summer.

"It is clear that there is an overwhelming sense of public support for West Chicago District 33 and its employees," said Johns, adding he did a lot of research when considering the position. "It is an honor to join this child-centered community in its mission of empowering students to reach their maximum potential."

Johns will replace Superintendent Kathy Wolfe, who is retiring on June 30. District 33 school board members picked Johns at the conclusion of a search that included more than 50 applicants.

Brenda Vishanoff, school board president, said in a statement that Johns brings "a proven track record of success" to the district.

"He is highly regarded among his peers and is an ... engaging leader," Vishanoff said. "Dr. Johns will bring continued leadership to our community and will ensure academic achievement and mastery continues to increase."

During his time with District 205, Johns has focused mainly on developing the K-8 academic program. He also has led the development of a curriculum model for grades K-12 that is designed to increase college and career readiness, officials said.

In addition, Johns focused his time on improving professional learning teams, expanding the use of data in decision making, and focusing on the needs of English Language Learners, officials said. He also designed a district system for determining academic intervention.

"Dr. Johns is also a leader of leaders," Vishanoff said, "and we look forward to his investment and development of leaders in our district."

Johns is a native of Iowa and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa with a double major in psychology and English. After getting his master's degree at Iowa, he started his teaching career in Elk Grove Village. Later, Johns earned his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Johns began his career as an English teacher, debate coach and track coach before becoming a dean of students. He then became associate principal of operations at Rolling Meadows High School and later became the school's principal. After seven years as principal, Johns moved to his current job with District 205.

Johns lives in Palatine with his wife, Michelle, and their three children.

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