District hires new superintendent for next year

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The Glenbrook school district approved the hiring of Dr. Charles Johns as the new superintendent, on Monday, Feb. 11, after a nationwide search, according to Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel. The employment is effective on July 1, 2019, when Dr. Michael Riggle, the current superintendent, will pass the torch to Johns.

Johns says that he wants to get to know his surroundings and establish relationships with the people, which will allow him to follow the path that Riggle has set forth.

“I think it’s really healthy for educators to get the full perspective, not just of the grade levels they work at, but also the whole continuum,” Fagel said.

Johns says that he is committed to seeing the success of minority students in District 225. Fagel says that Johns was a superintendent for five years at an elementary school district that was 80 percent Latino.

“My experience in working in a variety of districts ensures that all students learn,” Johns said. “It’s easy to say, ‘We’re doing really well,’ because the average is performing well. If we’re not careful, we can leave students behind.”

His desire to provide an equitable education for all students made Johns the most qualified candidate, according to Skip Shein, Board of Education president. His diverse career in the field and his ability to adapt to environments granted him the position of the District 225 Superintendent. Fagel says that Johns’ experiences in education distinguished him from remaining candidates.

Out of the handful of candidates, seven were chosen to be interviewed by the Board of Education in December. The Key Stakeholder Committee, an interview group of 14 people from the Glenbrook community, then spoke with the final three candidates over a period of three days, according to Fagel.

“You want somebody there whose personal integrity, personal beliefs and behavior set an example,” Shein said.

As District 225 Superintendent for 11 years, Riggle says he does not know Johns, but explains what he hopes to see in the new superintendent.

“Hopefully, [the new superintendent] will be a person who listens to the staff and students,” Riggle said. “I’m hoping [Johns] will ask the question ‘Why do we do [things] the way we do them?’ That’s caused us to make nice changes.”

Though he has had few conversations with Riggle, Johns hopes to schedule more in the future to prepare for his start. He doesn’t believe that his views on any subject contrast greatly with Riggle’s, and Johns plans to learn more about the district before proposing any changes.

“Working in District 225 is a chance to grow my career,” Johns said. “The district has an outstanding reputation. To be part of District 225 is the peak of [anyone’s] career.”

*Chloe Arciero, Mackenzie Bill, Emily Blumberg, Dani Carr, Hailey Cho, Jack Latreille, Ella Naugle, Carolina Rodriguez, Nicole Surcel

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