District 171 principal steps down

2013-06-20T21:15:00Z 2013-06-20T23:38:13Z District 171 principal steps downJoan Carreon Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 20, 2013 9:15 pm  • 

LANSING | Sunnybrook Elementary District 171 is bidding farewell to not only its business manager but to the principal at one of its schools.

Many were surprised on Monday to hear about the resignation of Heritage Middle School Principal Michael Keelan, effective June 30.

Keelan has been at the Lansing school since 2009. He was initially hired as Heritage Middle School assistant principal and became principal last year after the retirement of longtime Heritage Principal Bruce Christensen.

Keelan said he is making a career change and will become a project manager. He declined to provide further details.

District 171 Superintendent Hughes George said he is also sad to see Business Manager Mark Crotty leave the district. Crotty is stepping down as of June 30 to become business manager in Lansing Elementary District 158.

George announced Kerry Dean will become District 171’s new business manager. Dean was selected from a field of 57 applicants and was one of five candidates interviewed for the position, he said.

Dean’s experience as a business manager, his work with other school districts, and his technology background made him the top choice, George said. Dean will begin work in District 171 on July 1.

He comes to the district from Country Club Hills Elementary District 160 where he currently serves as business manager. He also teaches finance at Governors State University, George said.

Crotty thanked the district and the School Board for giving him the opportunity to serve as business manager for the past three years. He said the district has an outstanding board, community, staff, teachers, and parents.

In other matters, the board approved a new three-year contract with the Sunnybrook Education Association. The contract has been ratified by the teachers union, is effective July 1, and continues through June 30, 2016.

Under the contract, teachers will receive salary increases of 3.5 percent each year. The starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no previous experience will go to $34,506 under the first year of the contract. The salary for a teacher with a master’s degree, 10 hours of additional studies, and 30 years of service in District 171 will be $75,573 under the first year of the contract, according to Crotty.

In addition, teachers will pay 4 percent more toward their health insurance premium and retiring teachers will forgo one year of their retirement benefit, he said.

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