New principal takes reins at Brook Forest in Oak Brook
An administrator from Indian Prairie Unit District 204 has been named principal of Brook Forest School in Oak Brook, just days before Monday's start of classes.
Jason Bednar, who was director of elementary instruction for District 204 in Naperville and Aurora, was appointed Wednesday by the Butler Elementary District 53 school board.
He replaces Kelly Voliva, who resigned unexpectedly Aug. 5. The district did not give a reason for her departure.
Bednar is a "visionary leader who has high standards, deep knowledge of the elementary school curriculum and culture and is an educator who genuinely cares about students, staff and the school community," Superintendent Heidi Wennstrom said in a news release.
Bednar, who previously served as a principal at Owen Elementary School in District 204, was involved with aligning curriculum with the Common Core State Standards, creating professional development courses and helping lead standards-based evaluations of teachers, Butler officials said.
He taught for eight years and also served as dean of students and as a sports coach.
"One of the best things about elementary education is seeing the excitement a student has when he or she perseveres to overcome an obstacle," Bednar said in a written statement. "That enthusiasm is why I went into education and why I wanted to be an elementary school principal. The amount of growth students show between kindergarten and through fifth grade is amazing and sets them up for success throughout the rest of their lives."
Bednar is expected to work with Assistant Principal Lisa Owen to ensure a smooth transition, Wennstrom said.
The school made headlines earlier this summer when two families filed lawsuits against Butler District 53 for the district's treatment of two Brook Forest students accused of cheating in local spelling and geography bee competitions.