District 158 students start school year with new administrators, programs
Huntley Community School District 158's 9,235 students in first through 12th grades returned to classrooms Wednesday.
The district has hired several administrators this year. Among them are Heineman Middle School's two assistant principals, Courtney Fulton and Alicia Parker, Martin Elementary School's Principal Michele Happold and Leggee Elementary School's Assistant Principal Roshaunda Henson.
Rocio Del Castillo is the new assistant superintendent for special services, Sue Waughon is the new director of special services for elementary schools, and Rafael Martinez Ortiz is the new director of language acquisition.
Construction projects completed over the summer include improved pavement and roofs districtwide. Workers are putting the finishing touches on a renovated space to house Huntley High School's new INCubator program in which students will develop real-world businesses this year with the help of community business partners.
Work on a fine arts addition at Huntley High is expected to begin this fall. The school's Performing Arts Center is being expanded to include a black box theater with flexible seating for 120 to 150 people, a larger band room to accommodate 140 percussion instruments and standing room for 170 marching band students, a scene shop, and a lobby with ticketing booth. It will support the high school's new Fine Arts Academy launched last fall.
A new Explore program being offered this fall at district elementary schools will allow students to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts in a project-based setting encouraging collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. It's an elective offered alongside music, art, and physical education classes.
Also new this year are two campus resource officers who are stationed at the district's Reed Road and Square Barn Road campuses. Lake in the Hills police officer Sarah Barham now serves the Reed Road campus and Algonquin police officer Andrew Dykstra serves the Square Barn Road campus. Huntley police officer Ryan Gregorio will continue as the resource officer for Huntley High School and provide support to neighboring Leggee Elementary School.
The first day of classes for preschoolers and kindergartners is Thursday.