Principal in Diamond Lake District 76 leaves for neighboring district

  • Tanya Fergus, principal of Fairhaven School in Diamond Lake District 76, has been hired to the same post at Mechanics Grove School by neighboring Mundelein District 75.

    Tanya Fergus, principal of Fairhaven School in Diamond Lake District 76, has been hired to the same post at Mechanics Grove School by neighboring Mundelein District 75.

Updated 1/28/2015 5:13 PM

A veteran Diamond Lake School District 76 administrator has landed a new job at a neighboring district.

Tanya Fergus, who has served as principal of Fairhaven School the past six years, has been hired by Mundelein District 75 to fill the same role for the 2015-16 school year at Mechanics Grove School. Both elementary schools are in Mundelein.


"I am looking forward to my new adventure and staying within the Mundelein community," Fergus said.

She'll replace Kathleen Miller, who is retiring at the end of June after eight years as a principal in District 75.

Fergus was among 45 applicants for the position, and one of three finalists interviewed by about three dozen students, parents, staff and administrators. Fergus received an "overwhelmingly enthusiastic and unanimous response," from each member of the interview teams, according to Superintendent Andy Henrikson. Her salary will be $110,000.

The Diamond Lake school board accepted Fergus' resignation, effective June 30, at its Dec. 16 meeting. She declined to discuss the reasons for her decision, but was quoted on the new position in a statement posted on the District 75 website.

"I'm excited to serve in a system so focused on the partnership and collaboration of all stakeholders," she said.

Fergus isn't the only administrator to opt out. In November, the District 76 school board told the community that Superintendent Joseph Petrella had elected not to renew his contract when it expires June 30. He was hired in April 2012.

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Petrella on Wednesday said his time in District 76 "has been great and very rewarding."

The school board noted that instruction had improved and new curriculum was implemented for all students under his leadership. Petrella cited improved test scores; creation of a gifted program and cyberbullying hotline; and, establishment of a technology initiative as other achievements during his tenure.

The district again has hired BWP and Associates, which brought Petrella to the district, to conduct a replacement search.

"We liked their process and the pool of qualified candidates," said board President Lisa Yaffe. "Their access to a highly qualified pool of candidates is why we chose them."

A search survey to gather input on desired traits and skills is available to district residents until Jan. 30 at Yaffe said the search firm is collecting information.

"We're targeting late February (or) early March for candidate interviews," she said. If the timing works out, the new superintendent would choose Fergus' replacement, she added.

District 76 also is in the midst of creating a master facilities plan, which is expected to present officials at some point with significant decisions. Closing one of the three schools or making a hefty investment in repairs and renovation are among the options.

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