Mindy Keller, the principal at Hollywood School in Brookfield, is resigning to take a new job. In an email sent to Hollywood parents Monday afternoon Keller said she is resigning effective June 30 because she has accepted a job as the Director of Admissions and Marketing at the Science and Arts Academy, a private school in Des Plaines.

“After spending the past 10 years in District 96 as both a teacher and a principal this was not an easy decision, but one that I feel will allow me to further my professional growth and experience new areas in the field of education. Although I will be sad to say goodbye to District 96, I look forward to this next step in my educational career.”

Keller could not be immediately reached for comment, but in a letter sent to school parents Monday, she explained the reasoning behind her departure.

“This was not an easy decision, but one that I feel will allow me to further my professional growth and experience new areas in the field of education,” Keller wrote.  “Although I will be sad to say goodbye to District 96, I look forward to this next step of my educational career.” 

She has served as principal at Hollywood School for five years, the first year as interim principal. Prior to that, she was a kindergarten teacher at Central School.

Keller is the third District 96 principal to resign this year, following Hauser Principal Leslie Berman and Blythe Park Principal Bob Chleboun.

As of July 1 there will be no principals or central office administrators in District 96 who were not hired by Superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis, who began work in the district less than a year ago.

“I was surprised to hear the news,” said Sue Gersch, president of the Hollywood School PTA for the 2013-14 school year.

“I’m a little nervous, just because now we have so many new principals in the district. I wish her well, of course. It sounds like the new position will be a great fit for her. I wish her well and am sorry to see her go.”

The 2013-14 school year was not always smooth sailing for Keller. During the summer of 2013, Keller hired a new fourth-grade teacher who did not work out and was not rehired for next year.

Parents upset about the teacher had many meetings with Keller and other district officials to complain.

But Sharma-Lewis called Keller a valued member of the District 96 administrative staff and wished her well as she leaves Hollywood School.

“Ms. Keller is a highly organized, detailed-oriented and collaborative professional whose leadership skills, historical perspective, and positive relationships are valued among the staff and district leadership team,” Sharma-Lewis wrote in an email to the Landmark. “Her hard work and dedication will be of great benefit to her new organization.  I wish her only the best and continued success in her career advancement and professional growth.”

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