Dist. 200 selects its new superintendent

  • Brian Harris

    Brian Harris

Posted2/25/2010 12:01 AM

A suburban educator with more than two decades of experience has been chosen to become the next superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200.

Brian Harris, an area superintendent in St. Charles Community Unit School District 303, will assume his new duties July 1. He replaces acting Superintendent Charles Baker, who has been serving since the October resignation of Richard Drury.


On Wednesday night, District 200 school board members approved a three-year contract with Harris that will pay him $195,000 the first year.

After being introduced during the school board meeting, Harris said he's looking forward to taking the reins of District 200. He added he believes his background has prepared him for the position.

"I look forward to working with the school community, parents, staff, students in providing that excellent educational opportunity for kids in District 200," he said.

In his current job with District 303, Harris supervises three middle school principals, two high school principals and the daily operations of sixth through 12th grade. He also oversees human resources.

He previously was an assistant superintendent for teaching and learning from 2005 to 2007 and started his tenure in St. Charles in 1999 as the principal of Haines Middle School.

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Shortly after Drury stepped down last fall, District 200 officials said their goal was to name a permanent superintendent by March. Drury remains on the payroll through March 9.

Officials sought a new superintendent without using a professional search firm. They received input from the public and shared the qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent, including "visionary leadership" and "outstanding communications skills."

Harris was one of two finalists who emerged from a group of eight semifinalists selected by the school board.

School board President Andy Johnson said in a written statement that Harris' experience in a similar-sized district made the school board "very comfortable that he would be able to lead our district with professionalism and the highest regard for our mission of inspiring all students to excel.

"He impressed us with his enthusiasm and obvious passion for teaching and learning," Johnson added.

Before joining District 303 in 1999, Harris was a junior high school principal in Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 and a middle school associate principal and curriculum coordinator in Barrington Unit District 220. He also has experience as a classroom teacher and coach.

Harris earned a bachelor's degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his master's and doctoral degrees in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.

When not working, Harris enjoys spending time with his family, sports and the performing arts, officials said. He currently lives in St. Charles with his wife, Carol, and their two children Matthew, 17, and Brooke, 15.