Fairgrieve chosen as new St. Charles District 303 school board president

  • Heidi Fairgrieve

    Heidi Fairgrieve

Updated 5/10/2022 1:45 PM

The St. Charles Unit District 303 school board is seeing a change in leadership.

During the board's annual election of officers on Monday, board member Heidi Fairgrieve unanimously was chosen as the new board president. She replaces Jillian Barker, who has served as board president for the past year.


Fairgrieve had been serving as board vice president for the past year. She thanked her fellow board members for their confidence in her.

"I take it very seriously, and I'm just looking forward to working with you all," said Fairgrieve, who has served on the board since 2017.

Board member Becky McCabe thanked Barker for her leadership.

"This has not been an easy year, by any means," she said.

St. Charles and Geneva school districts were among more than 140 school districts around the state named in a lawsuit designed to prevent the school districts from being able to require masks and vaccine mandates. In filing the lawsuit, parents argued there was no due process in Illinois' statewide mask order.

The board also faced the challenge of hiring a new school superintendent. Superintendent Jason Pearson will be leaving the district to become the 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.

Former Glen Ellyn School District 41 superintendent Paul Gordon will be returning to Illinois to become the district's new superintendent.

School board members have 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, who will start July 1, has served as the superintendent of the Wenatchee School District in Wenatchee, Washington, since 2019. Before that, he served as superintendent for Glen Ellyn School District 41 for six years.

Board members also unanimously chose Joseph Lackner as vice president and McCabe as board secretary. Last year, Lackner was appointed to fill a vacancy created after the resignation of board member Michael Bryant. He will fill out the remainder of Bryant's term, which ends in 2023.

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