Assistant Principal to Become Next Principal at Hoffman Estates High School

Josh Schumacher

Joshua Schumacher

Joshua Schumacher has been named principal at Hoffman Estates High School, effective July 1, 2016. Mr. Schumacher, an assistant principal at the school for the past five years, will take over the principalship from Jim Britton, who earlier this year was named the District’s director of human resources starting in July.

Mr. Schumacher is currently a 12-month assistant principal at Hoffman Estates High School, overseeing building and grounds as well as professional development of staff members, a position he has held since 2014. He also serves as the school’s activities director. Prior to his current position, Mr. Schumacher was an assistant principal at the school with responsibilities in the discipline office from 2011-2014. He served as the school’s dean of students during the 2009-2010 school year. Mr. Schumacher began his teaching career as a biology and physical science teacher at Hoffman Estates High School in 2002. He was the Hawks’ head coach for boys (2003-2011) and girls (2004-2010) swimming and also served as the assistant sponsor for student council from 2005-2011.

“Josh is a perfect fit for the principal position because he is an outstanding instructional leader and he cares deeply about students,” said Superintendent Dan Cates. “Having been at Hoffman Estates High School throughout his District 211 career, he is closely familiar with the faculty and student-body so the school community will be able to continue its positive momentum without missing a step. Josh connects well with students, parents, and staff, and he is well-known by all for his positive attitude, hard work ethic, and overall enthusiasm for Hoffman Estates High School. This is a great day for Hoffman Estates High School and District 211.”

Mr. Schumacher earned his bachelor’s degree in biological science from Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill. He earned a second master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., and is currently working on his doctorate in curriculum and instruction through Illinois State University. Mr. Schumacher is a nationally certified teacher through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the highest professional credential in the field of teaching. He also was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education with a “Those Who Excel Award” in 2014 as part of the Hoffman Estates High School SOAR Core Committee, a positive behavior intervention.

District 211 Student Committee Preps to Introduce ‘Digital Democracy’ to Peers

HEHS Seniors and Digital Democracy Committee Members Nathalie Castro (left) and Thalia Espinoza (right) present the Digital Democracy Declarative Statements poster to Assistant Principal Joshua Schumacher (center).

HEHS Seniors and Digital Democracy Committee Members Nathalie Castro (left) and Thalia Espinoza (right) present the Digital Democracy Declarative Statements poster to Assistant Principal Joshua Schumacher (center).

Several District 211 students from each high school collaborated on a Digital Democracy Committee, a student-led group to discuss, create awareness, and develop expectations for best practices and behavior while using technology both in and outside of the classroom. Students in District 211 will introduce these guidelines in a presentation on Sept. 11.

The group designed the follow declarative statements to encourage positive behaviors while using technology:

  1. Think before posting.
  2. Abide by classroom technology expectations.
  3. Use personal social apps and games outside of class time.
  4. Ask before you share pictures, take video or record another person.
  5. Be original, be honest, avoid cheating.
  6. Remember, your iPad is school issued. Keep it clean.

District 211 Publications Assistant Becky Rolph designs the Digital Democracy poster, which will be introduced on Sept. 11.

District 211 Publications Assistant Becky Rolph designs the Digital Democracy poster, which will be introduced on Sept. 11.


District 211 will present Digital Democracy on Sept. 11.



Please watch the Digital Democracy trailer below created by the committee. Make sure to check the D211 Post for Digital Democracy updates.



HEHS Launches SOAR to Encourage Positivity

Teachers outside HEHS for SOAR welcome

HEHS staff greeted students as they entered the building to kick off the SOAR program.

When it comes to maintaining a positive environment at school, Hoffman Estates High School adopted a new program to encourage students and staff to “SOAR” in a positive direction, much like the school’s hawk mascot.

HEHS kicked off its SOAR program on Aug. 28 when staff members dressed in SOAR t-shirts to greet students as they came to school. Once school was in session, students attended a series of assemblies by grade level. This is where students were introduced to SOAR, which stands for “Show respect, Own your actions, Accept differences, and Realize your potential,” through a video made by HEHS faculty and staff, and a performance by the school’s student comedy troupe.

HEHS Comedy Troupe

Here the comedy troupe shows an example of respecting the teacher in a classroom.

“Students were pretty shocked when they saw staff outside waiting for them before school, and it was awesome,” said HEHS Assistant Principal Josh Schumacher. “We invited every staff member to come help us kick-off the program, and almost everyone was there. When students were getting off the bus, they kind of stopped and didn’t know whether they wanted to get off or not because everyone was cheering for them.”

HEHS packed auditorium

Students were introduced to SOAR through an enthusiastic assembly divided by each grade level.

The SOAR idea is to have students model positive, learned behaviors in and out of the classroom, with administrators and teachers modeling and monitoring the principles. As students display these behaviors, staff will reward them with tickets that make them eligible for prizes at the end of each quarter.

The program’s initial planning started in the summer of 2011 by a group at HEHS that wanted to change the culture and climate of the school. After adopting principles from a school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) and receiving training from Loyola University, a committee of 11 HEHS members started to put together the SOAR program.

Teachers greeting students

HEHS staff greet students as they enter the building.

Last fall, all students were surveyed about the climate of the school, overall behavior, and discipline. A similar survey was given to staff at HEHS. Students said they wanted to be taught aspects of positive behavior that they hadn’t been taught before. Staff also said they wanted to teach positive behavior. The SOAR lessons will consist of a 10 minute in-class activity each week, and every quarter is focused on a particular aspect, starting with “S” for show respect.

“Students need to be explicitly informed or taught what is expected of them, which is something we have never done before,” Schumacher said. “We have always thought that it was implied or that students learned it somewhere else, so we are going to come out and tell them through teaching lessons and videos we have made of what are SOAR behaviors and what are not. We have set this up to be a lifelong thing at HEHS.”

Schumacher said he already sees a difference in students and staff after introducing it to the school community, and believes this is a step in the right direction for HEHS.

Comedy Troupe HEHS

HEHS’ student comedy troupe performed examples of what is and is not SOAR behavior during the assemblies. Here they demonstrate how not to act in the lunchroom.

“We rolled this out to the teachers on Institute Day (Aug. 22). Even from then, I felt a difference in the school and that it’s brought everyone together,” Schumacher said. “Having everyone out front to greet students with a HEHS SOAR t-shirt — I didn’t see a staff member without one, from bus drivers, to maintenance workers, to cafeteria staff — was good for students and staff to see that we are all on the same page.”