LANSING | The Lansing Elementary District 158 School Board has decided to stay within the district to replace Coolidge Elementary School principal Linda Blomquist, who will retire in June.
Andrea Paterala, an assistant principal at Memorial Junior High School, has been hired as Coolidge School principal for the 2014-2015 school year.
"She has a lot of experience," D.158 Superintendent Cecilia Heiberger said. "She's served as an elementary school assistant principal and she has experience as a middle school principal and assistant principal."
Heiberger cited Paterala's knowledge of the Common Core State Standards that the district is transitioning towards as just one reason Paterala is a good fit.
"I want more parent involvement and I think she's got the right skills for that," Heiberger said.
Paterala previously served as principal at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville and was also a principal and assistant principal in Benjamin School District 25.
She is completing her first year at Memorial Junior High School.
"To work with younger students as they enter the world of education is very exciting," Paterala said.
Her experience as a special education teacher and of students considered gifted has enabled Paterala to see both sides of the education spectrum and the challenges they hold.
"How do we make sure that what we're doing within our classroom every day is meeting everybody's needs?," she said.
She identified encouraging students to think differently and critically as one of her goals.
In other district news, the 2013-2014 school calendar has been amended to make June 5 the last academic day. The last day had previously been set as May 30 but had to be adjusted due to school closures for four days because of inclement weather.
District 158 includes Memorial Junior High School, Coolidge, Oak Glen and Reavis Elementary schools and the Lester Crawl Primary Center.
The School Board also approved a calendar for the 2014-2015 school year.
Heiberger said the first day of school for students will be Aug. 20 and that the calendar is in alignment with Thornton Fractional High School District 215.