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Columnist
U-46 names five new principals
By Kerry Lester | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/7/2010 12:04 AM

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Elgin Area School District U-46 officials this week named five new elementary school principals.

Karen Mink, currently an elementary principal in DeKalb School District 428, will head to Bartlett Elementary school come fall.

Mink, according to a district news release, also has worked as a principal in Aurora School District 131, and as a reading specialist in Woodland District 68 and Joeliet District 83.

Hanover Countryside Elementary in Streamwood will receive Harold Shepherd, a principal in Marshalltown, Iowa's Marshalltown Community School District. District officials say he was responsible for implementing that district's Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program and for tweaking the district's dual language program. Before his time in Iowa. Shepherd worked as a teacher in Des Plaines District 62.

At the beginning of the school year, Superintendent Jose Torres joked that interim Sheridan Principal Nita White was going to undergo a yearlong tryout.

White looks to have passed the test, selected as next year's permanent principal.

Before coming to Sheridan, White was principal of an elementary school in Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas. She was also a principal and instructional leader of an elementary school Melrose Park, District 89; assistant principal in Schaumburg School District 54; and a bilingual specialist in Community Unit School District 200. She started her education career as a bilingual teacher at Hitch Elementary School in the Chicago Public School system.

Susan Smith, currently the supervisor of Woodland Heights Early Childhood Center in Streamwood, will move over to Nature Ridge Elementary in Bartlett next fall when Woodland Heights, a victim of district budget cuts, closes its doors.

Before Smith's tenure at Woodland Heights, she was principal at Glenbrook Elementary in Streamwood. She has also worked as a reading teacher at Oakhill, Sunnydale and Creekside elementary schools.

Lori Brandes, currently the principal of Wayne Elementary school, will move to Washington Elementary in Elgin next fall.

Brandes, according to the district, has spent most of her life working and going to school in U-46. She spent a total of 16 years as a teacher at Harriet Gifford, Hanover Countryside, Coleman and Sheridan elementary schools. She has also, according to the release, served as a literacy coach, reading specialist, and taught kindergarten, first, second, and third grades.

Principals were formally announced at Monday's school board meeting. Parents at each of the five schools have also been notified, District Spokesman Tony Sanders said.