Linda Solotaire Sextet concert to feature the music of Johnny Mercer at Ravisloe

Lynn Westerlund

Parents, teachers, administrators and other community members are taking part in interviews this month as Flossmoor District 161 searches for a new Parker Junior High School principal.

The new principal will replace Lynn Westerlund, who is retiring at the end of June. At Monday’s board of education meeting, Superintendent Craig Doster outlined the interview process.

An initial round of interviews followed preliminary screening at the end of March. Doster and Amy Warke, assistant superintendent of learning and instruction, met with Parker staff members on March 25 to discuss desirable attributes in a new principal.

A stakeholder interview is scheduled for Thursday, April 16; it will include parents and other community members. Candidates will meet with district administrators on April 20 and the superintendent on April 22.  Doster is expected to make a recommendation to the school board on May 4 and the new principal will take over July 1.

Westerlund has been Parker principal since July 2013. She previously served as principal at Serena Hills School for 11 years. Westerlund first joined District 161 in 1990 as a second grade teacher at Western Avenue School.

In other business Monday, the school board recognized members of the District 161 PTO for their recent fundraising activities. The PTO sponsored two fundraisers in February and March – a get-together for grown-ups at Grape & Grain in Homewood and a family-oriented basketball game at H-F High School featuring the Harlem Wizards. The two activities raised $19,779, which will go toward science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in the district.

The board honored PTO members Cassandra and Larry Lickert from Serena Hills; Amanda Cole, Theresa Singleton and Tiffany White from Heather Hill; Dedre Ryan and Gabrielle Larson from Western Avenue; Traci Lanier and Mac Fleming from Flossmoor Hills and Latonia Arnold and Sharonda Wiggins from Parker.  Also recognized were Dawn Sterning, PTO president; Ann Piros, PTO treasurer; and Maretta Marsh, the event coordinator.

Doster announced that District 161 this summer will partner with Camp Intervention to provide first through sixth graders the opportunity to attend the Illuminate program. This enrichment program is designed to reinforce STEM concepts and promote inquiry-based, hands-on engagement. The program will take place afternoons between June 15 and 26 at Serena Hills. Doster said District 161 teachers will participate in the program but that they will be compensated by Camp Intervention.

The school board approved tenure for seven teachers. They are Lauren Bunnell, Jennifer Larson, Evita McNeil, Emily Mroch, Ashley Somer, Alyssa Sorensen and Alison Wilde.

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