The District 103 Board of Education approved the hire of a new superintendent at its meeting Thursday. 

Carol K. Baker was approved by the board with an annual salary of $145,000. She will begin in the position July 1. 

“Thank you so much for the opportunity,” Baker said after the vote. “I look forward to becoming part of the community that is Lyons School District 103.”

The board selected Baker from an initial pool of six candidates, which was again narrowed to five, according to Board President Michael Bennett. 

“I think we, the board, really liked her experience with curriculum,” Bennett said. “A priority is to improve test scores. I think she can help us do that.”

Board member Joanne Schaeffer agreed. “I think she was a good choice,” Schaeffer said. 

Previously, Baker was director of curriculum for science and music at Community High School District 218 in Oak Lawn. Baker said she worked with teachers in the district to develop curriculum, instruction and assessments for the science and music departments. 

Baker said she had been looking for a post as a superintendent for about a year before she applied for the opening in District 103. 

“What really drew me was I was looking for a school that was similar to the one I worked at before and in a community that was like the one I grew up in,” Baker said. 

Baker said she’s a proponent of “active learning” and hopes to shape District 103’s curriculum toward that end with hands on education for students. She used a sports analogy, saying that in her view, students should be players in their education as opposed to spectators in the stands. 

“I want to see kids out of their seats and collaborating,” she said.

Bleuher will not return to
George Washington next year

The school board accepted the resignation of George Washington Middle School Principal Paul Bleuher at the same meeting Thursday. 

Bleuher’s resignation was accepted as part of the board’s consent agenda. He was hired in April 2015 by the district to be the middle school principal for the 2015-2016 school year.

Interim Superintendent Kevin McCaffrey said he and the district could not comment on personnel matters. 

At a board meeting in March, the district approved contracts for many of the district’s administrators – including the districts other principals – but Bleuher’s name was not among them. 

A separate agenda item called for potentially reclassifying a principal and a second item called for their potential termination. The item was removed by Bennett before the board began its meeting. 

Then-interim Superintendent Kyle Hastings said after the meeting that the district was still involved in contract negotiations with Bleuher and expected to present him with a new contract soon. 

In April, Bleuher told the Landmark April 18 that he planned to return the following school year and that he was expecting to sign his contract soon. He said he was excited to begin his second year with the district. 

Bleuher could not immediately be reached for comment for this story.