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District 161 begins search for new Parker Junior High principal

Flossmoor School District 161 officials announced on Friday, Dec. 3, that a search would begin for a new principal at Parker Junior High School.

Superintendent Dana Smith informed parents and guardians of district students about the move on Monday.

Principal Amabel Crawford was appointed to the position after previous principal Fred Hunter resigned in March 2019. She plans to return to her prior role as director of learning and instruction for the district on June 30, 2022.

Crawford’s transition back to the district office leaves the principal position at Parker open.

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“Over the last three years, Ms. Crawford has had a positive and measurable impact on the PJHS school community, and I am grateful for her care, professionalism and expertise,” Smith said in a news release. “As she returns to the district office at the end of this school year, her focus will be on expanding our educational program offerings for all students, refining our curriculum content and generating positive academic growth for our children across the district.”

Smith invited members of the district community, including staff and parents, to participate in the search for the next principal.

The district will conduct a survey so interested participants can share their thoughts and perspectives on what they value in a principal and what characteristics will make for a fitting candidate. Some participants may also be part of the interview process once the candidate pool is compiled and narrowed down.

“Throughout this process staff, student and parent feedback will be critical as we select the next school leader. While change can be challenging, this is an exciting time for PJHS,” Smith said.

Crawford is expected to play a significant role in welcoming the new principal to Parker to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

Preliminary candidate interviews are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 18, 2022. Interested candidates can visit www.sd161.org to apply. The window for applications will close on Dec. 22 and the new principal will begin on July 1, 2022.

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