D181 welcomes new principals, bids retirees farewell

Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 will welcome two new principals this summer.

The board agreed at its meeting Monday to hire Cory Burke as the new Hinsdale Middle School principal and Effey Nassis as the new Oak School principal, effective July 1.

Burke has experience at the middle school and elementary levels, serving eight years as an assistant principal in Schaumburg District 54.

“Ms. Burke brings many strengths to Hinsdale Middle School and our leadership team,” said Superintendent Hector Garcia. “We were very impressed by her leadership experience, academic skill set and the ability to build strong relationships with students, parents and staff.”

Burke said she is humbled and honored to serve as the next HMS principal.

“I am eager to start the partnership with the community and district and look forward to the continued success of an already high achieving community,” she said.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University earned her master’s in educational leadership there as well.

Nassis is currently the assistant principal of Scott Elementary School in Naperville District 203.

“Throughout the search, stakeholders and administrators were impressed by Ms. Nassis’ commitment to students and to student learning, insight into best practice and focus on both teacher and student growth,” Garcia said. “She has a history of fostering a collaborative culture in schools, empowering others and fostering high quality relationships with students, staff members and parents.”

Nassis said she’s honored and excited to join the D181 community.

“I will continuously strive to advocate for the students, staff and community members in order to build upon the tremendous success that has already been achieved at Oak School,” she said.

She has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Elmhurst College and two master’s degrees from Olivet Nazarene University, one in reading education and the other in school improvement leadership. She has presented at state and national conferences on best practices and was a recipient of a Those Who Excel award from the Illinois State Board of Education for her work.

The search process involved parents, faculty and administrators. Parents and staff/faculty were surveyed about the qualities they wanted in a new leader and a small group of teachers, parents and administrators interviewed candidates.

Each received a one-year contract. Burke will earn $116,664 a year; Nassis will earn $111,709.

Current HMS Principal Ruben Pena came to the district as assistant principal at HMS in August 2006. He was promoted to principal the following summer. He is moving to Clarendon Hills Middle School, where he will join the student services team as a social worker.

Martha Henrikson has served as the Oak School principal since 2014. She joined the district in 2007 as assistant principal at Hinsdale Middle School.

Henrikson was among the 19 retirees honored at the school board meeting. Other District 181 retirees are

• Denise DesLaurier, HMS teacher

• Theresa Doering, CHMS teacher

• Julie Ercoli, HMS teacher

• Lorna Galandak, HMS student services administrative assistant

• Janet Groce, Prospect speech and language pathologist

• Kimberly Imbrugia, HMS instructional assistant

• Barbara Jawny, HMS instructional assistant

• Kathleen Jirasek, Elm social worker

• Janet Lebeck, Elm instructional assistant

• Karen Majewski, payroll

• Susan Meyer, Oak School teacher

• Cassie Nederhouser, Oak teacher

• Irena Poskiene, HMS night custodian

• Joan Rickert, Madison PE teacher

• Donna Rusick, pupil service administrator

• Anna Shemkiv, HMS hight custodian

• Jeannet Vicek, CHMS help desk technician

• Amy Zimmerman, Madison school administrative assistant