D97 chief selects interim co-principals for Whittier

School board will vote to appoint Jim Doyle and Scott Kasik next week

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By Michael Romain


Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Superintendent Carol Kelley has selected two interim co-principals to take the helm Whittier School until district officials find a permanent replacement for the school's former principal, Keshia Warner, who resigned last month to take a job as the director of a principal development program in Chicago.

Jim Doyle and Scott Kasik both served as interim co-principals for Jackson Middle School in Villa Park's District 45 after they retired last year. The District 97 school board is expected to vote on Kelley's recommendation at its regular meeting on Aug. 15.

In a statement released earlier this week, District 97 officials touted the two men's "combined 77 years in education."

Before becoming interim co-principal in Villa Park, Doyle was principal of at least four schools in the Community Consolidated School District 93 in Bloomingdale more than 27 years. He's also been an assistant principal at a school in District 93. He's also taught at Immaculate Conception School in Chicago. 

Kasik had been principal at Downers Grove North High School and either a principal or assistant principal at several other high schools in the northwest suburbs before retiring in 2016. He's also taught special education at Morton West High School in Berwyn.

"Per state law, retired public school employees are only permitted to work 100 days per year," according to the statement released by District 97. "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 Chastity 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."

Kelley has stated that she anticipates the search process for a permanent principal at Whittier to start in January 2018 and will involve the participation 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," she said. 

Email: michael@oakpark.com

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Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: August 15th, 2017 6:30 AM

Of bigger concern is that is seems clear that D97 does not develop, or does not value what they develop, within the District. I've seen two Beye Asst Principals move to Principal positions outside the district in 3 years time. Why are we not able, with such a large employee base, to develop and promote leadership from within the District? My observations, albeit anecdotal, is that the Principals we have that came up through our schools have strong performances and long tenures.

David Gulbransen  

Posted: August 12th, 2017 7:23 PM

I would hope that a *qualified* candidate from *two years ago* would have a job by now. An interim for a year is completely reasonable, they'd have to pay a regular principal, too, so how is this a "huge waste of $"? I'll grant that the "co-Principal" thing is a bit weird, but they aren't both being paid a full salary, they are both working part time. So...

Barbara Joan  

Posted: August 11th, 2017 4:02 PM

No qualified candidates available after am expensive search just 2 years ago? Hiring 2 interim principals is another huge waste of $, at the expense of students & taxpayers.

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