Ask the experts - PRINCIPALS IN DISTRICT 181

What do you enjoy most about leading a school?

October is National Principals Month. To mark the occasion, The Hinsdalean asked principals in Community Consolidated District 181 about the rewards of their jobs. Here is how they responded:

• "I absolutely love being the principal of Clarendon Hills Middle School! I am truly humbled and honored each and every day to work with our incredible staff and partner with our amazing families and students. My leadership style is one that comes through service, and I gain my energy and happiness through helping others." - Levi Brown, Clarendon Hills Middle School

• "I love being back in school with our students and staff after our remote period. Everyone's energy for learning is so uplifting. Despite the obvious challenges this unusual year presents, I am humbled by our school community's willingness to pull together to create the best school experience possible for all of our students." - Eric Chisausky, Walker School

• "The students bring great joy to me each and every day! I just love their joy for life, their smiles, the stories they tell me, the corny jokes and being able to work with the staff and students in the classrooms." - Kristin Cummings, Prospect School

• "Especially this year, I enjoy seeing students coming to school each day that we are doing in-person learning! I know that all of us (students, staff members and families) have an added awareness of how special it is to be learning together in school. And I know that our remote students, teachers and families are building their classroom communities, too." - Martha Henrikson, Oak School

• "Put simply, the students! Their positivity, kindness, resilience and wonder amaze me! I love visiting the classrooms and seeing their brilliant minds at work. I am so lucky to be involved in work that brings me joy each day." - Sara Olson, Elm School

• "I love being the principal of HMS. I'm surrounded by great students, supportive families and an outstanding staff. I consider myself very lucky to be part of such a dynamic community." - Ruben Peña, Hinsdale Middle School

• "I love seeing the smiling faces of our students each day as they come to school, eager and ready to learn! Through the integration of targeted instruction, intervention and enrichment opportunities, our goal is to provide a safe and caring school environment that meets the needs of each child. This is accomplished through continuous communication and collaboration with staff, students and families. I am so proud to be a part of the Monroe School community!" - Kristin Reingruber, Monroe School

• "I love being Madison School's principal - the energy and excitement from the students, staff and families are truly amazing! My favorite part is seeing just how much the students grow from the time they start kindergarten to the time they leave ready to start their middle school adventure." - Kim Rutan, Madison School

"I have experienced how a community comes together to support each other during an unprecedented time. It warms my heart to see students, families, staff and the community working as one to allow our children to return to school safely." - Brandon Todd, The Lane School

- by Ken Knutson

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean