By Bob Skolnik
Former Riverside Elementary School District 96 Superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis is having a much a much better experience in her new school district than she had in Riverside. Sharma-Lewis, who was forced out after two stormy years at the helm in District 96, just received a new five-year contract as superintendent of Mundelein-based Diamond Lake Elementary District 76.
Sharma-Lewis joined Diamond Lake in 2014 right after leaving District 96. Her time at District 96 was marred by battles with the majority of the school board, which ultimately forced her out with a year remaining on her contract.
"It's a superintendent's dream to work in a district where the board of education puts students first, has faith and confidence in their leaders and upholds high expectation and standards for teaching and learning," Sharma-Lewis told the Daily Herald.
In a conversation with the Landmark, Sharma-Lewis did not want to comment on the record about whether her comment to the Daily Herald revealed anything about her experience in Riverside, but she said that she was in a good place.
Sharma-Lewis will be paid $194,670 in the first year of her new contract.
In April Diamond Lake voters passed a $11.4 million referendum to fund building improvements.
When she left District 96, Sharma-Lewis took two principals with her. Former Hauser Junior High Principal Stephen Juracka is Sharma-Lewis's associate superintendent and former Hollywood Principal Kurt Preble is a now a principal in the Diamond Lake district.