District 205 Names New Principals, Assistant Superintendent; Search for New Bryan Middle School Principal Will Begin
Bryan Middle School Principal Brad Hillman will take the cabinet position. "I will most certainly miss working with the students, parents and staff at Bryan," he said in an e-mail to parents.
Elmhurst Unit District 205 Board introduced two new principals and a new assistant superintendent of human resources Tuesday night.
New Principal at Lincoln
Kathleen Tomei was named principal of Lincoln Elementary School, replacing Mary Ann Kalis, who is retiring. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Loyola University and master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University and in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.
She has served as assistant principal in a school that serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and more recently was acting principal in Lake Bluff School District 65. At that time, she designed and implemented a new kindergarten through fifth-grade class placement process, co-designed an all-school enrichment model, served as co-chairman of the K-5 School Improvement Plan Committee and recreated the K-8 District Parent Handbook.
She also served as coordinator for National Assessment of Educational Progress testing and was named K-8 district coordinator for Response to Intervention, according to a press release from District 205.
From 1996 to 2008, Tomei also served as a second-grade teacher in Lincolnshire District 103, where she wrote and presented parent training sessions on topics including learning styles, discipline and the Six-Trait Writing Process. At District 103, she also served on various staff development, curriculum and planning committees.
“I’m very excited to be on staff,” she said. “I simply want to get to know the staff and community, learn as much as I can, what the strengths are, what the needs are.”
Lincoln, one of the oldest schools in the district, was identified in January as having serious structural deficiencies. According to a report by consultants hired by the district, about half of the exterior of the 95-year-old building is in “failed” condition.
While it is not her decision what happens to the building, she said it is important to honor the history of the school.
“I look forward to getting into the building and seeing what the needs are,” she said. “I think it’s important to honor the history of a school and what traditions are within those walls, and carry over what you can for the benefit of the students.”
New Principal at Hawthorne
Nikki Tammaru will be the new principal of Hawthorne Elementary School, the oldest school in the district. She will replace the retiring Stephen Smith.
“I’m completely honored to be chosen as the new principal,” Tammaru said. “My approach is simply going to be to meet with all of the stakeholders, find out what they’re passionate about, what they want to hold on to and move forward together to make sure that we’re keeping all the great things they already have in place.”
She wants to let them know that she "is there to serve them and to make sure their children are learning and growing every day."
Tammaru holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston and master’s degrees in reading and in administration from Northern Illinois University.
She has served as assistant principal of the Americana Intermediate School in Glendale Heights Queen Bee District 16 since 2008. She previously was a literacy facilitator for West Aurora District 129, and a reading specialist and literacy coordinator for Lombard Elementary District 44. Prior to that, she was a third- and fifth-grade teacher in Lyons Elementary District 103.
She was a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support “Star School” recipient, designed guided reading for a building of 700 students, has overseen collection and analysis of literacy data to provide intervention for students in three tier levels, and provided ongoing differentiated staff development.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
Current Bryan Middle School Principal Brad Hillman was named assistant superintendent of human resources, filling an open position. District 205 will involve parents, staff and administrators in the interview process for a new principal at Bryan Middle School.
“Brad Hillman is not new to our district,” School Board President Peggy Ostojic said. “We are very happy to see him taking on a cabinet position and bringing some of the strengths he brought to Bryan to a districtwide level.”
Before becoming principal at Bryan, Hillman was assistant principal of Scullen Middle School in Indian Prairie School District 204 and dean of students at Richard Ira Jones Middle school in Plainfield District 202. He also was a science teacher and team leader at Naperville Dsitrict 203’s Lincoln Junior High.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a teaching certificate from North Central College, and a master’s degree in educational organization and leadership from the University of Illinois, Champaign. He has earned many professional honors.
While with Elmhurst District 205, Hillman has worked collaboratively with district and union personal on two contracts using the interest-based bargaining process. He facilitated a program review of the York High School cohort program, served as a member of the District Leadership Team and facilitated the re-organization of the Building Leadership Team to develop a shared leadership between administration and teachers to improve student skill levels and content understanding.
Hillman issued the following statement to Bryan Middle School parents Tuesday night:
"While I am very excited about this upcoming challenge, I will most certainly miss working with the students, parents, and staff at Bryan Middle School. I have come to greatly value the Bryan community and its dedication to students.
"I look forward to working with all of District 205 in my capacity as assistant superintendent. I feel that this position will allow me the opportunity to work with all of Elmhurst as our School District continues to promote high expectations for students and a culture of continuous improvement."
All three will begin their new duties on July 1.