Another administrator is leaving Riverside Elementary School District 96.
Stacy Westin, who has been the assistant principal at L.J. Hauser Junior High School for the last eight years, resigned on Tuesday to become the assistant principal at Jerling Junior High School in Orland Park.
Westin was hired by Orland School District 135 on Monday night; her effective resignation date from District 96 is July 15. She is scheduled to begin her new job on August 10, according to the agenda of Orland District 135 school board meeting held July 13.
“I have honestly truly loved working in this district and community,” Westin said in an email to the Landmark. “Hauser is a truly amazing school. The students are outstanding and the staff is incredibly dedicated and student-centered.”
Westin will be paid $82,384 in her new position compared to the $77,877 she was scheduled to make this year at Hauser. Not only is Westin getting a raise, she won’t have to work as much. Her new job is a 10-month position while her job at Hauser required her to work 12 months a year. However, it was Orland’s schools district that drew Westin’s interest, not the different schedule, she said.
“Orland School District 135 is a district that I have always dreamed of working in,” Westin said. “The leadership is effective and student-centered, and the community is supportive and collaborative. I would never base a job position based on the contractual time. I will work as much as it takes, to ensure the students are growing and succeeding, and that the staff is supported and always doing what’s best for kids.”
Westin’s departure will leave Hauser with a brand new administrative team in 2015-16, since former Principal Steve Juracka resigned in May to take a district-wide administrative position with former District 96 superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis in Diamond Lake District 76. New Hauser Principal April Mahy took over on July 1.
Westin had been the last administrator in District 96 who was hired by former District 96 Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson. She is the third District 96 administrator to leave the district in the last two months. Former Hollywood School Principal Kurt Preble also resigned to take a principal position in Sharma-Lewis’s new district.
The outgoing Hauser assistant principal had spent her entire 13-year career in education at the school. She was hired as a summer school teacher and then became a full-time teacher of math, reading and language arts for five years before becoming assistant principal in 2007.
Westin has been a steadying force at Hauser in recent years, especially during the last half of the 2013-14 school year, when then-Principal Leslie Berman abruptly quit in early January. Westin helped run the school the rest of that year. She was friendly to parents and generally well-liked. She handled disciplinary issues and oversaw many day-to-day operations.
“She has always been extremely receptive, at least in my experience, with what parents and kids need,” said Martha Carlson, the parent of a current Hauser student and two fairly recent Hauser graduates. “She’s just been a good person to have at the school, so it’s too bad.”
Former District 96 Director of Academic Excellence Brian Ganan also praised Westin.
“She was a hard worker,” said Ganan, who on July 1 took over as the superintendent of Komarek School District 94. “She was great to work with.”
The Landmark has learned that in the spring Westin interviewed for the job of Hollywood School principal, but she was not picked for that position.