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District 161 hires new assistant principals 

The Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education appointed three new assistant principals at the Feb. 19 meeting.

According to a press release from the district, the decision follows a rigorous selection process that began with 39 candidates. After meticulous screening and multiple interviews, the district’s interview committee, comprising administrators, teachers, and staff, narrowed the pool to the final three candidates.

Newly named assistant principals are Abby Girard at Flossmoor Hills School, Cameron Small at Heather Hill School, and Laura De Biasio at Serena Hills School. The assistant principal positions will take over tasks that social workers have done in previous years, along with additional responsibilities.

The assistant principals will work on improving instruction, facilitating special education meetings, fostering communication with families, staff evaluation, student supervision and overseeing daily routines and procedures. The district said its overarching goal will be to promote every student’s academic and behavioral well-being.


Expressing his optimism about the appointments, District 161 Superintendent Dana Smith emphasized the candidates’ commitment to providing exemplary learning experiences for children.

“Ms. De Biasio, Ms. Girard, and Mr. Small will make an immediate impact in District 161 because of their shared focus on creating great learning experiences for children,” he said. “I am excited for their contributions to our school district and the success that will follow.”

Cameron Small

Small, currently serving as a dean of students at Parker Junior High School, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. With 15 years of experience as a health teacher and with a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, District 161 said he is well-prepared to continue building strong relationships with students and families, according to district officials.

Abby Girard

Girard’s six years in administrative positions include associate principal, student services coordinator, and multi-tiered systems of supports coordinator. The district said her pre-kindergarten, early intervention programming and special education expertise make her a good fit for Flossmoor Hills Elementary School. Girard was the only external candidate hired for a assistant principal position. 

Laura De Biasio

De Biasio has spent the past five years as a special education teacher in District 161, her colleagues said she brings a deep understanding of student needs and effective instructional strategies to her new position, district officials said. In addition to her role in the district, she has prior experience in therapeutic day schools. De Biasio earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degree from the American College of Education.

Carolyn Griggs, president of District 161’s Board of Education, expressed enthusiasm about the new appointments, emphasizing the candidates’ strengths and their alignment with the specific needs of each school. “Ms. Girard, Mr. Small and Ms. De Biasio are excellent additions to the District 161 administrative team,” she stated.

The new assistant principals will officially begin training for work at District 161 on July 1. They will work closely with administration and principals in their respective schools as they prepare for the 2024-25 school year. 

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