Superintendent's Message, 4.4.2018

Spring Break is in our rearview mirror and we are once again fully focused on our students’ learning, to finish this 2017–18 school year strong. April and May will be two very busy months!


Our work addresses not only this current year, but looks ahead to the 2018–19 school year and beyond. It is rewarding, indeed, when we can place talented educators in roles that engage them as the committed and capable leaders they have proven themselves to be, for the benefit of our students, faculty, and staff.

At their meeting last night, District 96 Board of Education members unanimously approved the appointment of Meghan Bird as Country Meadows Elementary principal, effective August 1, 2018. Meghan will succeed current Country Meadows Principal Allison Slade, who will be leaving District 96 for a new position she has accepted. We sincerely wish Allison much success in her next professional chapter.

Mrs. Bird is, in fact, returning to Country Meadows, where she taught special education students (as Miss Kennedy) for 6 years, from 2010 to 2016. In Aug. 2016, she became assistant principal at Woodlawn, where her highly collaborative practices served Woodlawn staff well and helped contribute to Woodlawn’s earning the national Professional Learning Community 2018 DuFour Award.


Mrs. Bird demonstrates exceptional understanding of what’s best for kids. She excels in determining the most effective strategies to meet an individual's needs in ways that increase the student's understanding, foster independence, and build confidence. Her strong understanding of technology as a learning tool contributes to her ability to support and extend learning.

She also helps children share her high expectations for them, increasing their social self-confidence and self-respect. In her previous years at Country Meadows, she embraced the mission of Girls On the Run, focusing on exercise, healthful lifestyle choices, and emotional well-being for all the girls involved.

Her leadership talents were recognized very early in her professional career when she was nominated by colleagues for distinguished Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel recognition as an early career educator. Her skill at connecting and communicating brings out fellow educators’ best–and served her well as a team leader, new teacher mentor, and job-alike facilitator. Reflecting her commitment as a lifelong learner, she earned a master’s degree in principal preparation and teacher leadership from Concordia University.


Mrs. Bird will begin her new responsibilities as Country Meadows Elementary Principal effective Aug. 1.

The Board made a second unanimous appointment last night, as well: Jason Keenon will be the District’s Curriculum Coordinator, effective July 1. His contributions and collaboration with Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Jeanne Spiller and Language & Early Literacy Director Katie Sheridan around curriculum this year as a Teacher on Special Assignment have confirmed his enthusiasm and talent for that area.

Mr. Keenon also brings significant valuable and relevant experience to his new role. He has served District 96 for 14 years and taught English at Bartlett High School in Bartlett, Illinois, prior to that. At Woodlawn Middle School he taught 8th-grade language arts for 10 years before becoming an information literacy coach there. In that role, he supported Woodlawn classroom teachers in creating and planning curriculum and delivering instruction to support and extend learning targets. Mr. Keenon holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University.


I’m thrilled that Meghan and Jason have accepted these new roles and wish them the very best in the years ahead!

Julie Schmidt, District 96 Superintendent of Schools