Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s students, staff and community welcomed their new principal, Jerry Lee Anderson, with great enthusiasm.
Anderson wore the red and white Viking school colors when she returned March 21 for a day of meet-and-greet and attendance at a District 233 school board meeting. She was last at the school in January as one of three finalists for the position.
“I felt very welcomed today, really just enjoyed the opportunity to interface with the students,” she said at the end of the school day, recalling how students came up to her in the halls to introduce themselves or say hello.
Coming to H-F gave her “the opportunity to learn the culture of the school. It’s been very positive to me, very welcoming. I love the energy and I’m looking forward to my first day. It’s been a great experience,” Anderson added.
She will start at H-F on July 1. Her husband, Derric, and sons, Solomon and Forrest, will be moving from Colorado with her. The couple has two daughters: Diane will remain in Colorado where she is a teacher, and Jessica is a social worker living in the Chicago area.
This is not her first hire at H-F. When her husband took a job in Kankakee, a realtor suggested the family look at the H-F area. She applied for a position at the high school in the 1990s and was hired as dean of students.
Anderson was selected for the principal’s post after the district conducted a national search that drew more than 60 candidates. BWP and Associates helped organize the search and screen those who applied for the position.
Anderson has a one-year contract and will be paid $172,000.
Anderson is very comfortable in a high school setting. She is leaving a position as principal of Monarch High School, a part of the Boulder Valley School District, and has also been director of secondary education for the Littleton Public Schools and was a principal at high schools in Colorado Springs and Denver.
Becoming a teacher was her passion as early as middle school. She knew at her high school graduation that she would be pursuing an education degree.
When interviewed for Who’s Who Among American High School Youth, she remembers saying “when I grew up I was going to have my PhD and be a high school teacher.” she accomplished both.
“Being a teacher, being in education was my dream,” Anderson said. “And I’m living my dream. Being a principal is like being a master teacher.”
The H-F community went through a tumultuous period after Ryan Pitcock was fired from the principal’s job in June 2016. Anderson said she hopes residents “will gain confidence in me” and come together to move forward. She promises to be “open and accessible.”