D211 Post: New principals named at Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg High Schools

           Palatine, Ill. — At its January 16, 2020 meeting, the Board of Education approved the appointment of Michael Alther as principal at Hoffman Estates High School, and the appointment of Brian Harlan at Schaumburg High School.  Both appointments will be effective July 1, 2020.  Mr. Alther, currently an assistant principal at Palatine High School, assumes the principalship from Josh Schumacher, who was recently named District 211 assistant superintendent for instruction.  Mr. Harlan, currently an assistant principal at Hoffman Estates High School, will take over the principalship from Tim Little, who will retire after serving District 211 for 33 years, including the past 13 as principal at Schaumburg High School.

Mr. Michael Alther has been selected as the new principal for Hoffman Estates High School.

         Mr. Alther has been an assistant principal at Palatine High School since 2004, serving first as 10-month assistant principal for two years and then in 2006 as 12-month assistant principal lead disciplinarian, before being promoted in 2008 to the position he currently holds as 12-month assistant principal for staff development, building and grounds, and student activities.  Mr. Alther came to District 211 in 2002 as a business education teacher at Palatine High School.  He began his teaching career as a high school business education teacher in Community Unit School District 303 in St. Charles where he taught for seven years before coming to District 211.  Mr. Alther earned his bachelor’s degree in business education from Illinois State University in 1995, and in 2000, he received his cooperative education certification from Southern Illinois University.  Mr. Alther earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Aurora University in 2002 and has since taken coursework towards a doctorate in curriculum and instruction through Aurora University.

        “Mike Alther is a dedicated and reflective leader,” said Superintendent-Elect Lisa Small.  “During his 16 years as an administrator in District 211, I have watched him partner with students, staff, and parents to positively impact students – enhancing their experiences in the classroom, increasing career exploration opportunities, creating diverse afterschool connections, and preparing them for success.  Mike is the perfect fit as principal at Hoffman Estates High School, and I know that his enthusiasm will add to the unwavering Hawk pride found throughout the school community.”

Mr. Brian Harlan has been selected as the new principal for Schaumburg High School.

        Mr. Harlan began his career in education as a science teacher at Hoffman Estates High School in 2007.  He served as the school’s dean of students during the 2012-2013 school year, before being named a 10-month assistant principal at Fremd High School in 2013.  In 2015, Mr. Harlan returned to Hoffman Estates High School, accepting a 12-month assistant principal position at the school, responsible for student intervention and discipline.  The following year, he was appointed to his current position as 12-month assistant principal, overseeing staff development, building and grounds, and student activities.  Mr. Harlan earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004, and his master’s degree in geology from Northern Illinois University in 2007.  He earned a second master’s degree in school leadership from Concordia University in Chicago in 2012.  In 2015, he earned a master’s degree in school business from Northern Illinois University and a chief school business official endorsement.

        “For many years, Tim Little has been an important member of our administrative team, not only at Schaumburg High School, but throughout District 211, and he will be missed,” said Dr. Small.  “I am excited about Brian Harlan taking over the principalship at Schaumburg High School.  He is leader who embraces a culture of continual improvement and will provide dynamic support to help all students succeed.  He believes in high expectations for every student and will work diligently to implement successful approaches to help guide students toward their post-high school choices.  He truly values direct connections with all school community stakeholders, and this will make his student-centered focus rewarding for all within the Schaumburg High School community.




D211 Post: New High School District 211 superintendent named

At a special board meeting on October 24, 2019, the Township High School District 211 Board of Education confirmed Lisa A. Small as its next superintendent of schools, effective July 1, 2020.  Dr. Small, currently District 211 associate superintendent for instruction, will replace retiring District 211 Superintendent Daniel E. Cates, after 27 years in the District, the past six as superintendent.  With her appointment, Dr. Small becomes the eighth District 211 superintendent.

“One of our most important responsibilities as a Board of Education is to hire a superintendent of schools, and we are very excited about our choice of Dr. Small to fill this position,” commented Board President Robert LeFevre.  “Dr. Small has been well-respected as a leader in District 211, and her experience in the District will make for a smooth transition into her new role.  We are extremely pleased with the positive feedback the Board received about Dr. Small and her leadership during our search, and we know that staff, students, parents, and the community will find her an outstanding person to lead our District.”

Dr. Small has held her current position as the associate superintendent for instruction since 2014.  In this role, she has led the District’s Instructional Team, and has been instrumental in increasing advanced placement, dual credit, and career pathways course offerings, as well as implementing the District’s new wellness program.  Prior to her position as associate superintendent, she served as principal at William Fremd High School for six years, from 2008-2014.  She began her teaching career at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in January 1992, before coming to Hoffman Estates High School as a science and mathematics teacher in August 1992.  Dr. Small moved into administration in 2000 when she was named a 10-month assistant principal at Hoffman Estates High School, serving in that role for two years.  She also coached volleyball while at Hoffman Estates High School for 10 seasons.  In 2002, she was promoted to 12-month assistant principal at Fremd High School, and then was appointed as the District’s director of instructional improvement in 2004 before being named principal in 2008.

Dr. Small received her bachelor’s degree in biology education from Ohio State University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University.  Dr. Small earned a certificate of advanced studies from National Louis in educational leadership, administration and supervision; and her doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University Chicago.

The appointment of Dr. Small as District 211 superintendent culminates an internal and external search process by the Board of Education, conducted by School Exec Connect.  The process included use of feedback from stakeholder surveys, as well as focus groups comprised of a cross-section of District constituents, including community members, parents, teachers, support staff, and administrators.  Following interview sessions, feedback was gathered by the Board before making its final decision.