Parker Junior High School is starting the 2016-17 academic year with a new assistant principal.
Shemeka Fountain, a 16-year veteran of junior high schools in Dolton and South Holland, began her assignment at Parker on Wednesday. The night before, Flossmoor District 161 school board members unanimously approved her appointment to the school’s No. 2 post.
Following the appointment at Tuesday’s meeting, Parker Principal David Kennedy introduced Fountain to board and audience members.
Fountain thanked the board and said she was looking forward to working with students and parents at Parker.
“I am heavily invested in the education of all our students,” she said. “I will do what I can so our students receive services and have the opportunity to learn.”
For the last two years, Fountain has been assistant principal at McKinley Junior High School in South Holland District 150. Prior to that, she was a Response to Intervention (RTI) coordinator for three years. RTI is a national program that takes a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs.
Superintendent Craig Doster said there were 40 applicants for the assistant principal position after it was posted this summer. Nine candidates were interviewed.
Fountain emerged as the top candidate for multiple reasons, Doster said. As McKinley’s assistant principal, she gained valuable experience in master scheduling, a necessary skill at the junior high. As an RTI coordinator she is familiar with providing educational opportunities to at-risk children. And the fact that she has always worked successfully in junior high schools was seen as a plus.
Doster said Fountain received her undergraduate degree in education at St. Xavier University and her master’s degree at Chicago State University.
Last year, there were two assistant principals at Parker, Bruce Brozynski and Bruce Nieminski. The school planned to go to one assistant principal after Brozysnki’s retirement in June – he had been in that post at Parker for 16 years. Nieminski was an assistant principal at Parker for three years and previously served in that capacity at Western Avenue School.
This summer, Nieminski took at position in Steger School District 194. He will be assistant principal at Columbia Center School, the district’s junior high building.