Update on the Interim Principal Position at Whittier Elementary School

On Tuesday, August 15, the District 97 Board of Education is expected to take action on a recommendation from Superintendent Carol Kelley to appoint Jim Doyle and Scott Kasik as the interim co-principals for Whittier Elementary School for the 2017-18 school year. If the board approves the appointment, Doyle and Kasik will replace Keshia Warner, who resigned last month to accept a director position with a principal preparation program in Chicago.

Last year, Doyle and Kasik served as the interim co-principals for Jackson Middle School in District 45 in Villa Park following their retirements in 2016 after a combined 77 years in education. Prior to that, Doyle was the principal for several of the schools in Community Consolidated School District (CCSD) 93 over a period of 27 years, including Stratford Middle School, Western Trails Elementary School, Jay Stream Middle School and Carol Stream Elementary School. He also served as an assistant principal at Jay Stream Middle School for CCSD 93, and taught at Immaculate Conception School in Chicago for seven years.

Before his appointment to the interim position in District 45, Kasik held several administrative positions over the course of 24 years, including principal for Downers Grove North High School, associate principal at Barrington High School, assistant principal at Glenbard North High School, principal for Lake Zurich High School, assistant principal at Highland Park High School and dean of students for Deerfield High School. He also served as the Guidance Department Chair and Reaching Out Program Coordinator for District 113, and taught special education for seven years at Morton West High School and the West Suburban Association for Special Education.

In terms of their educational experience, Doyle has a bachelor’s degree in History/Education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University Chicago. Kasik has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Western Illinois University and master’s degrees in Special Education and Educational Administration from Northeastern Illinois University.

Per state law, retired public school employees are only permitted to work 100 days per year. As they did in District 45, Doyle and Kasik will alternate the days they work in the building on a weekly basis. However, they will collaborate with each other and Chasity McComb-Williams, who is the school's student support specialist, on the planning and execution of all day-to-day instructional activities and operational responsibilities. They will communicate with students, faculty, staff and parents/guardians on a regular basis about what is happening in the building. Both of them also plan to attend all major school events, meetings and functions (e.g., Curriculum Night/Open House, Honors Assembly, student performances, etc.).

In a district-issued statement about Warner’s resignation that was released on July 12, 2017, Superintendent Kelley shared initial information about the plan and goal for filling the principal position at Whittier on a permanent basis.

In terms of hiring a permanent replacement for this position, we anticipate those efforts will begin after the first of the year, and will be carried out with the help of the school community. Our shared goal will be to find an individual who has the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to not only build upon Whittier’s history of success, but also help our students learn, grow and achieve.”

The Board of Education meeting on August 15 will take place at the district’s administration building (260 Madison Street) at 7 p.m.