Elgin - School District U-46 is preparing for the 2017-18 school year with more than a dozen leaders stepping into top administrator roles. Some of these professionals have recently joined the District, or have been promoted from within U-46 to serve a new role. U-46 District and school administrators oversee schools, District-wide programs and services, collaborate with staff and teachers, and guide our families to help students achieve academic success.
“We welcome our new school and District leaders as together we work toward achieving our goals on behalf of nearly 40,000 students,” said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “We’re confident these 16 experienced professionals will continue to demonstrate their dedication and skills as they take on these key roles.”
Eight administrators are new to U-46, two are returning to the District, and six employees have been promoted to leadership roles. The following individuals have been named to positions that were left vacant due to retirements, resignations, or other opportunities within the District.
Elementary School Principals
Mr. David Aleman - Principal at Otter Creek Elementary School, Elgin
Mr. Aleman returns to U-46 after serving as the Director of English Language Learning at Community Consolidated School District 93 in Bloomingdale. Prior to his current position, he served as a principal and an assistant principal in District 93. Mr. Aleman previously worked as a classroom teacher in School District U-46; working at Ellis Middle School, and Spring Trail and Channing Memorial elementary schools.
Mr. Aleman earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and his Master of Arts in curriculum and education from Aurora University.
Dr. Kyle D. Bunker - Principal at Garfield Elementary School, Elgin
Dr. Bunker will take the reins at one of the District’s oldest schools. Dr. Bunker has been serving as the principal at Anderson Elementary School for Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, Texas since 2006.
Dr. Bunker started his career as an elementary school teacher in first, third and fifth grade in Idaho from 1982 to 1991. Dr. Bunker moved to California and became an assistant principal for Roynon Elementary School (1993-1994) and Slauson Middle School (1994-1995). He became the principal for Slauson Middle School (1995-1999) and then the principal for Gladstone Street Elementary (1999-2005) before moving to Texas to serve at Anderson Elementary School. Dr. Bunker also serves as an adjunct professor for Kaplan University, Online Instruction – Virtual Campus Facility, based in Orlando, FL.
Dr. Bunker earned his Bachelor's in elementary education with a minor in art from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, a Masters in educational leadership and administration from Azusa Pacific University, and Doctorate in organizational leadership and management from University of La Verne, both in California.
Mrs. Noelle Dupuis - Principal at Hawk Hollow Elementary School, Bartlett
Ms. Dupuis moves to the Bartlett-based elementary school from nearby Huntley. She has served as the assistant principal at Leggee Elementary School in Huntley Community District 158 since 2013, serving one year in the same role at Mackeben Elementary School. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, Ms. Dupuis worked from 2009 to 2013 as an English Language Learner administrator in St. Charles based in Community Unit School District 303. Ms. Dupuis served as an administrator intern for one year at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles and a prior year with the Assistant Director of Special Education Instructional Services at Little Woods Facility in St. Charles. From 2003 to 2013, Ms. Dupuis worked as a special education facilitator at Anderson Elementary where she supported a variety of school and district efforts to improve teaching and learning.
Ms. Dupuis earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in special education from Northern Illinois University, and a Master of Arts degree in teacher leadership from Roosevelt University.
Ms. Abbie Eklund - Principal at Lincoln Elementary School, Hoffman Estates
Ms. Eklund is a familiar face to many with 16 years in U-46. She last served as the assistant principal at Otter Creek Elementary School in Elgin. Prior to the school administrator role, Ms. Eklund served as the lead teacher for the CORE Instruction Strategy and a transformation coach and as a classroom teacher at Lowrie Elementary School in Elgin. Ms. Eklund has served in several leadership roles in U-46 and brings deep expertise in coaching and supporting the instructional practice of teachers.
Ms. Eklund earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Arizona State University and a Master of Science degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.
Mr. Juan Henderson - Principal at Lowrie Elementary School, Elgin
Mr. Henderson brings more than a decade of educational leadership experience to his new post. Since 2016, Mr. Henderson was the assistant principal at Creekside Elementary School in Elgin. Before re-locating to Illinois in 2016, Mr. Henderson served as a principal in Alabama and assistant principal in Nevada. Mr. Henderson has also coordinated a multicultural committee to ensure recognition of diversity with his school and community.
Mr. Henderson earned a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in elementary education from Troy University in Alabama. He earned an Education Specialist degree in elementary education from Auburn University at Montgomery.
Ms. Maria Lopez - Principal at Laurel Hill Elementary School, Hanover Park
Ms. Lopez joins U-46 with experience and expertise from several nearby local districts. Ms. Lopez most recently served as the assistant principal at Komensky Elementary School in Berwyn South School District 100 since 2013. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, Ms. Lopez served as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher from 2011 to 2013 at the Berwyn school. Ms. Lopez worked as the ELL and Bilingual Department Chair at East Aurora High School in East Aurora School District 131. From 2000 to 2008, Ms. Lopez served as a fifth grade bilingual teacher at Smith Elementary School in West Aurora School District 129.
Ms. Lopez earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Aurora University and a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership from Aurora University.
Mrs. Sarah N. Rabe - Principal at Centennial Elementary School, Bartlett
Mrs. Rabe takes on the principal role at Centennial after serving as the assistant principal at West Ridge Elementary School in Chicago Public Schools and has worked in this capacity since 2012. Before becoming an assistant principal Mrs. Rabe served as a Districtwide literacy coordinator. From 2007 to 2012, Mrs. Rabe served as a classroom teacher and literacy coach at Rogers Elementary School, also in Chicago Public Schools.
Mrs. Rabe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Augustana College, a Master of Education degree in reading and literacy from Benedictine University, and a Master of Arts degree in school
leadership from Concordia University.
Dr. Maria Valdovinos-Bhatia - Principal at Sunnydale Elementary School, Streamwood
Dr. Valdovinos-Bhatia will take on the top leadership role at Sunnydale Elementary after serving as an assistant principal at Huff and Hilltop elementary schools in Elgin and Nature Ridge Elementary School in Bartlett. Dr. Valdovinos-Bhatia also has experience working directly with students in teacher and coach positions in Community Unit School District 300, East Aurora School District 131, and West Aurora School District 129.
Dr. Valdovinos-Bhatia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Northern Illinois University as well as a Master of Arts in teaching and a Doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Aurora University.
Secondary School Principals
Mr. Luis Fernando De León - Principal at Tefft Middle School, Streamwood
Mr. De León served as principal of Laurel Hill Elementary School for four years. Before his leadership role at Laurel Hill, Mr. De León was the administrative intern in the 2012-13 school year at Harriet Gifford Elementary School in Elgin. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. De León worked as a teacher at Nature Ridge Elementary School in Bartlett. Mr. De León was also named the 2016 Hanover Township Principal of the Year. Prior to his career in education, Mr. De León held management positions in the agricultural industry.
Mr. De León earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from the Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro in Mexico, his Master’s degree in teaching and his Type 75 leadership certification from Aurora University and is completing his doctoral degree.
Mrs. Yvette G. Gonzalez-Collins - Principal at Ellis Middle School, Elgin
Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins served as the assistant principal at Coleman Elementary School since 2016. Prior to her assistant principal post at Coleman, Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins served as a dean of students from 2010 to 2016 at Streamwood High School. From 2007 to 2010, Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins served as an ELL special education administrator. Before her career at U-46, Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins worked as a regional disabilities specialist for Head Start through Booz Allen Hamilton and worked in various instructional and leadership roles serving students with specialized needs and English Language Learners in Chicago Public Schools.
Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins earned her Bachelor of Science degree in merchandising from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Science degree in multi-categorical special education and in educational administration from Governors State University.
Ms. Michele Chapman-Simmons - Principal at Streamwood High School, Streamwood
Ms. Chapman-Simmons returns to U-46 years after teaching at Streamwood High School 17 years ago. Ms. Chapman-Simmons comes to U-46 from Community Unit School District 203 in Naperville, where she was the assistant principal for Curriculum and Instruction since July 2014. Prior to her assistant principal role, Ms. Chapman-Simmons served as the math/science division chair at Lyons Township High School from 2008 to 2014. From 2004 to 2008, Ms. Chapman-Simmons served as the science department chair at Glenbard North High School. Ms. Chapman-Simmons worked as a science teacher at various schools, including Streamwood High School from 1999-2000, East Leyden High School from 1993 to 1996.
Ms. Chapman-Simmons earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Albion College in Albion, Michigan, a Master of Science in education at Northern Illinois University and is working toward her doctorate in educational leadership at DePaul University.
Mr. Jamie Crosen - Principal at Larkin High School, Elgin
Mr. Crosen comes to U-46 from Chicago Public School District, where he served as the assistant principal at Roberto Clemente Community Academy since 2011. Prior to his assistant principal position at Clemente, Mr. Crosen served as the curriculum coordinator and department chair and teacher at Tilden Community Academy in Chicago for a year (2010-2011) before being selected as an assistant principal. From 2006-2010 Mr. Crosen was a department chair and teacher at New Millennium School in Chicago and was named South Chicago Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Crosen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in geography at Chicago State University. He earned his Master of Arts degree in educational leadership from American College of Education in Indianapolis.
Mrs. Krystal Thomas - Principal of Elgin High School, Elgin
Mrs. Thomas joins the Maroons after several years in local districts. Ms. Thomas served as the principal at Bloom High School in District 206, located in Chicago Heights, since July 2016 after being recruited from North Chicago Community High School where she was the principal from 2013 to 2015. Mrs. Thomas worked in the Chicago Public Schools in various administrative roles from 2006 through 2013. Through promotions and consolidations she has served as an elementary assistant principal at Mount Vernon School (2006-2007), principal at the School of Technology (2007-2011), and assistant principal at George Corliss High School (2011-2013).
Mrs. Thomas earned her Bachelor of Science degree in history with an endorsement in general science at Illinois State University. She earned her Masters of Art degree in general administration and supervision from Chicago State University.
District Programs and Departments
Ms. Laura Macias - Director of Information Services
Ms. Macias took on the role of Director of Information Services in November after working since July 2017 as a Project Coordinator in the Plant Operations Department. Prior to her employment in U-46, Ms. Macias served six months as a Senior Consultant at Riveron Consulting in Chicago. From 2007 to 2013, Ms. Macias served as the Director of Acquisition Integration at IDEX Corporation in Lake Forest.
Ms. Macias earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from the Juarez Institute of Technology University in Mexico. She has also earned several certifications including statistics, world class manufacturing, leadership and six sigma green belts, a set of tools and techniques for process improvement. She is bilingual; fluent in English and Spanish.
Ms. Deborah Perryman - Coordinator of Science K-12
Ms. Perryman has accepted a leadership role at the U-46 Educational Services Center. Ms. Perryman has spent the past 25 years in the field of science, where she served the last 17 years as a science teacher at Elgin High School. Prior to Elgin High School, Ms. Perryman was at North Chicago High School and Beaufort-Jasper County Career Education Center where she taught biology, physical science and chemistry.
Ms. Perryman holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in biology and secondary education from Western Michigan University, and a Tech-Prep Certification in biology, chemistry and physics from University of South Carolina. Ms. Perryman earned her Masters in biology from Northern Illinois University, and a Masters in educational leadership from Aurora University.
Mr. Jeffrey Prowell - Director of Transportation
Mr. Prowell comes to U-46 from Humble, Texas where he served as the Director of Transportation for the Humble Independent School District (ISD). Before his post at Humble ISD, Mr. Prowell served as the senior manager in Transportation Terminals and Safety Training for the Houston Independent School District, and as the general manager at First Student. Prior to working in school transportation, Mr. Prowell managed freight operations for private freight and logistics companies in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Prowell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to the above administrators, the District hired or promoted more than 20 individuals to fill roles such as assistant principals, deans and chairs of high school divisions that were left vacant due to retirements, resignations, or other opportunities within the District.