21 Aug 2014
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Valley View Picks New BHS Principal, Other District-Level Staff

School board approves hires to fill out Supt. James Mitchem's senior staff.

Valley View Picks New BHS Principal, Other District-Level Staff Valley View Picks New BHS Principal, Other District-Level Staff Valley View Picks New BHS Principal, Other District-Level Staff Valley View Picks New BHS Principal, Other District-Level Staff

Soon-to-be Valley View Supt. James Mitchem has nearly six months before he officially takes the reins of the district.

But Monday, Mitchem and the Valley View School Board took big steps in identifying the key players who will make up Mitchem’s district level staff.

The board approved the hiring of Rachel Kinder as the district’s new assistant superintendent for curriculum for grades 6-12 and Yadira Mata as the new assistant director of bilingual education.

The board also approved the hiring of Fabby Williams, who will replace Mitchem as principal, and Keith Wood, who will serve as the new principal at in place of the retiring Ron Krause.

All the appointments are effective July 1, with the exception of Mata’s, which takes effect in August.

The hirings are part of , which he says will bring an added sense of accountability and greater uniformity across schools in terms of best practices.

Mitchem and the district’s board approved the plan in December.

The plan essentially swaps 12 positions throughout the administration. Most notably, it creates a third assistant superintendent and replaces a half-dozen education coordinators with new directors.

Mitchem said the plan will cost roughly $140,000 in additional administrative salary. However, district-wide, salaries will remain flat or might even come in just shy of what the district paid out last year, he said.

Kinder, who will be making a base salary of $150,000 per year, has served as assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at since July 2009. Before that, she was a Spanish and demonstration teacher at Joliet Central and West.

She holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Governors State and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“Because of my life experiences and experience in education, I understand the (district’s) mission and vision to its very end,” Kinder said. “It is part of my very core.”

Williams is actively serving as interim principal at Austin Polytechnical Academy, which is part of the Chicago Public Schools system.

Before that, Williams served in several capacities for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina, including principal of its Garinger Business and Finance High School.

“I want you to hold me accountable for the education of all of our students,” Williams said to the board. “My vow is to make sure every classroom in will have a good, effective teacher who cares about children. It’s more than just teaching them how to write or read. It’s about caring about them as individuals.”

Williams is a candidate for a doctorate of education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and education from Winthrop University. He will make $150,000 annually in base salary.

Mata has been a teacher at for five years and will make $81,975 in her new position.

Wood, who currently serves as principal for MacArthur Middle School in Berkeley, will make $120,000 as Brooks’ newest principal.

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