Elgin Area School District U-46's new information services director hopes to help his department turn over a new leaf.
"Basically, I'm coming in and trying to start fresh," said Jeff Lake. "I really believe that's the best way to handle things."
Lake will replace Marcus Thimm, who resigned in August after his department came under public scrutiny for disciplinary action taken against three computer workers.
Derek Baxter, Jennifer Lugar and Lori Berke in June were placed on unpaid leave and threatened with termination for remarks made to co-workers over an instant messaging system.
Thimm is now the director of technology at Glenbrook High School District 225.
Lake served as the director of technology for Crystal Lake District 47 since 2002. He also worked as the manager of instructional technology in Palatine from 1998 to 2002.
A former elementary school teacher with a psychology background, Lake said he prefers to "lead by consensus. Being in education my entire life, I've found it works best that way."
One of his top priorities in the next few months is working with the curriculum department.
A new set of literacy assessment guidelines, unveiled at last week's school board meeting, touted a new "centrally located" district-wide data warehouse to help with student fluidity.
"You really have to be a personable person to support technology, to make it accessible and understandable to everyone," he said.