New U46 principals lead by example
Two new high school principals in the U46 school district say while a lot has changed, the job remains focused on students and teachers.
Brian Moran is the new principal at South Elgin High School and Mike Demovsky is in that position at Bartlett High School. There's also a new principal at Streamwood High School, a middle school and two elementary schools.
"For me, I want to be visible," Moran said. "I want to be approachable."
He enjoys interacting with students.
"I always thought the higher up you go, the farther you move from kids — that was my perspective," he said. "I think I have a little bit more interaction with kids here now, just being principal than I did at my other building. I kind of dispelled that myth, so to speak."
Moran had been an associate principal at Streamwood High School, and gradually became interested in the top job.
"When you're in a building for 20 years, you develop a lot of good relationships with people," he said. "You get to know them and their extended families and what they like. I'm trying to bring that here when I talk with teachers."
He's also aware that social media has changed how issues outside of school enter the building, and that technology is affecting both students and teachers.
"We as adults in the building kind of facilitate some of those conversations [about social media]," he said.
"I'm reading a little more in terms of research, so that I'm aware," Moran said. "I still believe that the teachers are the content experts and I would expect my teachers to be in charge of their own learning and their own professional development, but I need to be aware of a little bit of everything that goes in the building."
Demovsky said he takes seriously the responsibility of helping teachers.
"Talk about modeling good instruction, it starts with me," he said. "What's interesting is the staff tell me, 'We've never had staff meetings like this' and I'm like, 'I've never not had a staff meeting like this.'"
Demovsky had served as prinicipal at Kenyon Woods Middle School since 2012 and before that was an assistant principal at Streamwood High School for two years. He taught at Bartlett High School from 1998 to 2006.
"It's been 10 years since I've been back," he said. "For me, it's continuing the traditions the school was founded on.
"It's about relationship forming, laying the groundwork for any type of academic support that a student needs," he said. "Getting to know who students are is key."
Other new principals include:
•Josefina Melendez, Channing Elementary School, Elgin
•Dr. Jennifer Schwardt, Horizon Elementary School, Hanover Park
•Lisa Olsem, Kenyon Woods Middle School, South Elgin
•David Smiley, Streamwood High School, Streamwood