By Ryan Kupperman, executive news editor
Current Director of the Forest View Academy Kara Kendrick was aware her name was going to the Board of Education as a possible candidate to fill Greg Minter’s current position, Associate Principal of Student Services, as Minter will make the transition from Associate Principal to Principal over the 2018-19 school year.
However, the board meeting to decide the new job position was a closed session, meaning Kendrick was not a part of it. Kendrick recalls being at home on Thursday, Feb. 22 when Associate Superintendent for Human Resources Kurt Laakso messaged her saying her new position had been approved by the board. The next day, she got to travel to Prospect and meet her new staff within the Student Services Department.
Despite Kendrick being the Director of the Forest View Academy and involved with District 214 for four and a half years, she is also currently the Director of Life, which is a transitional program for students with special needs from ages 18 to 22.
Kendrick has also been a dean for 12 years at Maine South High School, a dean for one year at Naperville North High School and taught special education at community high school. .
Prior to her teaching jobs, Kendrick graduated from Illinois State University with her undergraduate and masters degree in educational administration.
Although Kendrick acknowledges the transition to a larger setting at Prospect from a smaller setting at Forest View will be slightly different, she is optimistic for her ability to adjust into Prospect’s culture.
“It’s a new challenge, a new opportunity for me and [the job] will let me see a different perspective within this awesome district,” Kendrick said. “I am super excited to have the opportunity to work with students … and prepare them for success beyond high school.”
Kendrick also believes that the largest difference from being a director to being an associate principal is having to work in a team of the Student Services Department, along with administrators.
“I think when you (a district team) put your heads together, you do what is best by the kids,” Kendrick said.
According to Minter, who had been involved in the board meeting that selected Kendrick for the position, Kendrick will be a valuable asset to Prospect because of her experience as a director, her background in special education and her ability to work with students on a more therapeutic and personal level.
“[Kendrick] is going to be someone who everyone enjoys working with,” Minter said. “She is a great personality and she has the ability to light up the room. She’s just very magnetic [and] very charismatic.”