The Hinsdale High School District 86 Board approved hiring the current principal of Butler Junior High School in Oak Brook as the next principal of Hinsdale South High School.
The School Board voted 5-1 Monday to hire Stephanie Palmer, effective July 1.
Palmer has been principal of Butler since June 2011.
Before that, she was assistant principal in charge of instruction at Hinsdale Central High School, while Michael McGrory was principal. Palmer also worked at Prospect High School in northwestern suburban High School District 214.
She has a master’s degree in school administration from Concordia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
District 86 Board member Kay Gallo voted against hiring Palmer, explaining, “I don’t think she is what South needs.”
Board member Jennifer Planson said her vote for Palmer was a “reluctant yes.” District 86 Superintendent Bruce Law recommended hiring Palmer, Planson said.
“She reports to Bruce and she’ll be accountable to him and the South community,” Planson said.
“I wanted to show support for Bruce’s decision,” Planson said, but her support “is not without reservations and concerns.”
About 150 children attend Butler, compared with the nearly 1,700 who are enrolled at Hinsdale South.
In a statement released two days after the board action, District 86 officials said Palmer’s selection followed an extensive public participation process that included a survey of District 86 stakeholders conducted by School Perceptions. More than 370 parents, teachers, staff, community members and students shared their perspectives on the key strengths, experience and skills the ideal candidate should possess.
District 86 Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law and members of his administrative team used insights from this process to select five candidates from an applicant pool of 30. These five candidates then participated in a public interview process at Hinsdale South that again involved parents, teachers, staff, students and the community. Based on feedback from these interviews, four candidates were presented to the District 86 Board of Education for final consideration and selection.
Superintendent Bruce Law and members of his administrative team used insights from this process to select five candidates from an applicant pool of 30. These five candidates then participated in a public interview process at Hinsdale South that again involved parents, teachers, staff, students and the community. Based on feedback from these interviews, four candidates were presented to the School Board for final consideration and selection.
Butler District 53 issued a statement wishing Palmer well, noting she had initiated exploratory electives at Butler, a new master schedule and the one-to-one computer initiative, which provided all junior high students with a laptop for their use in school. She worked with staff to review curriculum in science and Spanish and to open up the placement process to expand opportunities for students. She also partnered with the PTO to add new field trip experiences for sixth- and seventh-graders, and to redesign the library.