Board hires new principal to take reins at Madison

An experienced educator and building administrator will be the new leader of Madison School.

The Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board voted unanimously Monday to approve a contract with Barbara Shanahan.

Shanahan has spent the past 19 years in Frankfort District 157-C, where she served most recently as assistant principal of Grand Prairie Elementary School and previously as instructional coach and teacher leader. She began her career as a first-grade teacher in Frankfort.

"Ms. Shanahan brings many strengths to Madison School and our leadership team," board President Margaret Kleber said. "Her calm and reflective leadership style and her ability to create a positive school culture is a great fit for District 181."

Shanahan has served as assistant principal for three years. In that time, she created curriculum, planned professional development and institute days and led data teams to improve curriculum and instruction. She was also an instructional coach, where she defined the role and was instrumental in increasing Frankfort's high achievement levels. She also has served as an adjunct faculty member at Xavier University and Benedictine University. She has a bachelor's from the University of Illinois, and three master's degrees - one in elementary education and one in reading from the University of St. Francis and a third in educational leadership from Governors State University. She expects to receiver her doctorate in May 2022.

"I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the principal of Madison Elementary school," Shanahan said. "I look forward to the opportunity to join the exceptional team at Madison and work collaboratively with families and staff to ensure that all students are successful academically, socially and emotionally," she said.

Shanahan was one of 67 applicants for the position, Superintendent Hector Garcia said at the meeting.

"She was by far the most qualified individual that we met," he said at the meeting. "We are thrilled to recommend Barbara Shanahan for the Madison principal job for next year.

Shanahan replaces six-year principal Kimberly Rutan, who is leaving to become a principal in Naperville Community Unit District 103. She will earn $103,000 her first year.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean