Vernon Hills High School principal to retire in 2025
Vernon Hills High School Principal Jon Guillaume has announced plans to retire -- but on Tuesday he insisted he isn't ready to leave yet.
Guillaume, 49, of Vernon Hills, will step down at the end of the 2024-25 school year. He's been principal since 2014.
Guillaume's plans were disclosed ahead of Monday's Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board meeting. The announcement was made so far in advance to comply with district retirement policies, Guillaume said.
Guillaume noted that his projected retirement date is six years away -- more years than he's served as principal so far.
"My work isn't even halfway done here," Guillaume said.
When he leaves Vernon Hills High, Guillaume said he expects to get a job in education elsewhere in Illinois or in another state.
Even so, Guillaume said he "certainly will forever love this place and feel like it's home."
District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea lauded Guillaume for his strong leadership and how he's worked to ensure students' growth and success.
Those efforts have helped make Vernon Hills a premier school. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, Vernon Hills High was named the 23rd best high school in the state and the 443rd best in the nation.
"Jon is roughly midway through what already is -- and will certainly continue to be -- an amazing high school principal career," Lea said. "Simply put, Jon is among the best of the best high school principals in the entire country."
Guillaume's teaching career began in 1992 at Niles North High School. Two years later, he took a job at Libertyville High School, where he served as a teacher and athletic coach and then head of the mathematics department.
When Vernon Hills High opened in 1999 as Libertyville's freshman campus, he transferred to the newer school. Guillaume is one of about 30 Vernon Hills High employees who have worked there since it opened.
Guillaume is the third principal in the school's history. He followed Jim Whittington and Ellen Cwick in the role.
Guillaume will earn a $202,632 annual salary during the 2019 fiscal year, which ends June 30. That sum is scheduled to increase gradually to $249,052 by the time he retires, District 128 spokeswoman Mary Todoric said.
The search for Guillaume's replacement will begin in fall 2024, Todoric said.