By Bob Skolnik
Brian Waterman was hired to be the new principal of Lyons Township High School, Monday.
Waterman, 39, is the principal at Hinsdale South High School in Darien. He will take over at LTHS on July 1, replacing David Franson who is retiring after 10 years as principal.
"I'm just really excited to be taking on this new professional challenge," Waterman told the Landmark.
Waterman will be moving from a school with about 1,700 students to a school with a little more than 4,000 students on two different campuses. But Waterman said he doesn't think the large size of LTHS will force him to change his style, which emphasizes personal contact with students and teachers.
"Kids are kids, high school-age students are high school-age students. Certainly there are going to be more of them at Lyons Township, but at the same time I pride myself in getting to know as many students individually as I can, and I will bring that same passion at LT," Waterman said. "My ultimate goal will be to both visible and accessible in both buildings."
Waterman is in his sixth year as principal at Hinsdale South. Prior to coming to Hinsdale South he was an assistant principal for operations at Glenbard North High School for three years and an assistant principal at Westmont High School for two years. He began his career in education as a business teacher at Westmont High School.
At Hinsdale South, Waterman said that he is especially proud of expanding access to Advanced Placement classes to students who traditionally would not take AP or honors classes.
The native of downstate Taylorville holds four degrees: a bachelor's degree in business and a MBA from Eastern Illinois University, a master's degree in educational leadership form North Central College and a doctorate in leadership and administration from Aurora University.
Before starting his career in education, Waterman worked for a couple of years in business as a software trainer.
Waterman was selected from a pool of 50 applicants.
"We're thrilled to have Brian join our team," said District 204 Superintendent Tim Kilrea. "Throughout a very competitive process he rose to the top of an excellent candidate pool. He is student focused, he is open to all parents, he is accessible, well respected by teachers, he's intelligent, approachable, fair. Six years of principal experience really came through in the interview process."
Eight candidates were interviewed and then the field was narrowed to three finalists. Kilrea recommended that the board hire Waterman, which it did at its Dec. 16 meeting. Waterman interviewed with the school board and various stakeholder groups at LTHS.
Kilrea declined to say if any of the three finalists were internal candidates.
Mark Pera, the president of the LTHS District 204 Board of Education, said that that Waterman stood out.
"He was just an exceptional candidate and he will be an exceptional principal," Pera said.
According to the terms of his contract, Waterman's base salary will be $163,120, with the school district paying another $16,924 toward Waterman's required annual pension contribution.