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District 54 appoints four new assistant principals

The District 54 School Board appointed four new assistant principals at its meeting on May 3:

  • Michelle Rhodes at Hanover Highlands Elementary School,
  • Kelly Pietryla at Lakeview Elementary School,
  • Kari Frederick at Aldrin and Fairview elementary schools and
  • Laurie Mandarino at Dirksen and Dooley elementary schools.

Michelle Rhodes

Michelle Rhodes has been a special education instructional coach in District 54 since 2011 and had worked for eight years before that as a special education teacher at Nerge Elementary School. Prior to coming to District 54, she worked for two years as a middle school teacher in Crystal Lake.

“As both a student and teacher in District 54 I have experienced firsthand the impact of dedicated leaders, caring educators and supportive families,” Rhodes said. “It is with great enthusiasm and pride that I look forward to partnering with the students, families and staff of Hanover Highlands Elementary School. Thank you to the Hanover community for this opportunity.”

Rhodes has a bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University.

Kelly Pietryla

Kelly Pietryla has been a classroom teacher at various grade levels and a literacy specialist at Dooley Elementary School in Schaumburg since 2006. She began her career in education in 2005 as an instructional assistant in Park Ridge.

“I’m thankful for being a part of the District 54 community for 12 years, which has allowed me to grow as a leader,” Pietryla said. “I’m excited to continue to grow through the opportunities provided to me by being the assistant principal at Lakeview. I look forward to working with the students, parents and staff at Lakeview to continue their ongoing success.”

Pietryla has a bachelor’s degree in education from DePaul University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University and an educational leadership certificate from Concordia University.

Kari Frederick

Kari Frederick has worked as a literacy coach in District 54 since 2010, for five years at Nerge Elementary School in Roselle and the past three years at Anne Fox School in Hanover Park. Prior to being a literacy coach Frederick worked as a special education teacher at Nerge and at Fairview Elementary School in Hoffman Estates.

“It has truly been an honor serving the District 54 community as an educator for the duration of my career,” Frederick said. “I am excited to embrace this next opportunity to lead and grow in a new capacity. I am looking forward to working together with the students, staff, and families at Aldrin and Fairview to ensure our district promise.”

Frederick has a bachelor’s degree in special education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in instructional leadership from University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s degree in school leadership from Concordia University.

Laurie Mandarino

Laurie Mandarino has worked as a literacy coach in District 54 since 2013, and has been serving as interim assistant principal at Blackwell Elementary School in Schaumburg since March 2018. Mandarino was originally hired as a first- and second-grade teacher at Churchill Elementary School in Schaumburg in 2006.

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to serve as assistant principal at Dirksen and Dooley schools,” she said. “District 54 has always been my home as a student, teacher and community member. I am excited to take on this new role and look forward to continuing to learn in a district with such wonderful students and staff.  I look forward to seeing where this journey takes us.”

Mandarino has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Illinois State University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University, and a master’s degree in school leadership from Concordia University.

These appointments take effect July 1, 2018.