Jennifer Tyrrell

Lyons Township High School’s Board of Education announced the hire of the institution’s new principal, Jennifer Tyrrell, at their April 19 meeting.

Tyrrell, who has been principal of Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park for the past three years, will replace Brian Waterman, who was named LTHS District 204 superintendent in February.

Both Waterman and Tyrrell officially will step into their new roles on July 1, when the LTHS’ new fiscal year begins. That will also be the day Superintendent Tim Kilrea retires from the position he’s held for the past 12 years.

“I am eager to join Lyons Township High School and it will be my priority to co-create a dynamic student experience,” said Tyrrell in a press release. “I will be relentless in creating an inclusive school culture in which every student feels a sense of belonging that creates the conditions for achievement within all areas of the high school experience.”

Tyrrell was tendered a one-year contract at a salary of $170,000.

She began her career in education in 2005 at her alma mater, Stagg High School in Palos Hills, as a physical education teacher. As a student at Stagg in the 1990s, Tyrrell was a star softball player who also excelled at the sport in college at Western Illinois, where she was an all-conference player who competed in two NCAA Division I tournaments.

In 2009 she was named division chair for physical education at Stagg, a position she held for five years.

She later served for four years as Stagg High School’s associate principal for curriculum and instruction before being hired as principal at Sandburg High School.

Tyrrell has a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in sports management, both from Western Illinois University. She also holds a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from Lewis University and a doctoral degree in administration and supervision from Loyola University of Chicago.

“The best principals put their heart and soul into creating an elite school culture and climate and being present and visible within the school community,” Tyrrell said. “The best principals are not just school and district leaders but truly are community leaders. I intend to be that leader.”

Tyrrell was chosen from a field of 40 applicants, seven of whom were interviewed and three of whom were finalists. Waterman said Tyrrell’s experience as a classroom teacher, division chair, associate principal and principal will ensure a smooth transition into her role at LTHS.

“She knows the power and importance of student voice, and I look forward to seeing her empower our student body to be leaders in our school and community,” Waterman said.