New principal hired for Libertyville High School

  • Incoming Libertyville High School Principal Thomas Koulentes

    Incoming Libertyville High School Principal Thomas Koulentes

  • Libertyville High School Principal Marina Scott

    Libertyville High School Principal Marina Scott

Updated 2/28/2017 4:06 PM

Highland Park High School Principal Thomas Koulentes has been named the next principal at Libertyville High School.

Koulentes will replace Marina Scott, who is retiring at the end of the current school year.


The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board voted Monday night to hire Koulentes for the post.

Koulentes has been Highland Park's principal since 2015, after serving one year as interim principal. He had joined the Highland Park faculty in 1995 as a social studies and English language learners teacher and went on to lead the school's bilingual program. He spent nine years as an assistant principal, too.

Koulentes received the National Society of Secondary Scholars Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008 and the Microsoft Award for Most Innovative Teaching in the United States in 2007.

He was a finalist for a Golden Apple Award in 2005.

In a news release, District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea praised Koulentes as "an educator's educator" and called him the "best of the best."

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Koulentes said he's excited to join the Libertyville High team.

"Libertyville High School is already one of the best high schools in the state, and I sense there is a genuine desire on the part of the school community to begin taking steps to cement the school's status as one of the best public high schools in the nation," he said.

Koulentes will have a starting annual salary of $196,159. Scott -- Libertyville's principal since 2009 -- is earning a $238,007 salary in her final year.

Scott announced her retirement plans in 2012. School administrators in Illinois typically announce retirement plans far in advance because of a state retirement-system requirement.

She said her pending retirement doesn't yet feel real.

"Life is so fast-paced in the high school environment and there is still so much to do," Scott said. "(It's) sad to step away from an environment, people and a job I love, but exciting to move on to a new phase in my life."

Scott said she intends to travel and continue practicing and teaching yoga.

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