New St. Charles District 303 leader plans to spend plenty of time in schools
Incoming St. Charles School Unit District 303 Superintendent Paul Gordon said he plans to spend a lot of time in the schools after he becomes the district's top administrator July 1.
"It's important that myself, my team and others are in buildings and seeing the work and seeing the learning that's going on and engaging with our students and listening to our students," Gordon told members of the district's Citizen Advisory Committee last week. "But it's also important that we're connecting with our community, hearing from our parents, hearing from our families, hearing from our broader community about our schools and where we're going and what we're doing."
School board members in April unanimously approved a three-year contract with Gordon, which will run through June 30, 2025. He will earn $260,000 in the first year of the contract.
Gordon has served as superintendent of the Wenatchee School District in Wenatchee, Washington, since 2019. Before that, he was superintendent for Glen Ellyn School District 41 for six years.
He will succeed Superintendent Jason Pearson, who will be leaving the district to become superintendent of Northbrook School District 28 beginning July 1. Pearson has served as District 303 superintendent since 2017, after joining the administrative team in 2010 as an assistant superintendent and then becoming deputy superintendent in 2016.
Gordon said he also plans to focus on the needs of each student.
"We also recognize that each student has had unique experiences and we have to understand those to ensure that we're doing right by each of our students," he said.
To Gordon, success means a place "where our students feel really safe and where our students are thriving academically, socially and emotionally," he said.
Gordon also said he will be as honest and frank as possible.
"I'm not always going to make you happy," Gordon told committee members. "But I'm going to shoot straight. I'm going to be dead honest from my perspective on where we're at and where we're going."
Board member Becky McCabe, who co-chairs the Citizen Advisory Committee, said the board was excited to have Gordon take the helm.
"The process of your selection was rigorous," she said. "I'm very proud to be on this board because of this process that we went through."
She also complimented Pearson's leadership skills.
"His leadership has provided our students with strong environments of learning," McCabe said.