D161 Board Hires New Arbury Hills Principal

Find out more about Jeffrey Gerard, an elementary school assistant principal from the Troy school district who will be the new principal at Arbury Hills. Plus, Summit Hill's assistant principal moves to Rogus, and the board rehires four teachers.

When it comes to ways to spend a wedding anniversary, attending a school board meeting probably ranks among the justifiable reasons for a spouse to file for divorce.

But cut Jeffrey Gerard some slack. Wedding anniversaries are a yearly affair. Being named a principal for the first time is a bit rarer.

The board unanimously approved the hiring of Gerard as the new principal at at its meeting Wednesday, July 11.


"It's a sense of relief," Gerard said about going through a closed session interview with board members before they voted on his hiring. "There was really good timing, though. It's nice to share this special moment with my wife as I go forward into this new endeavor."

Becoming Arbury Hills' new principal is a return of sorts for Gerard, who started his educational career as a first-grade teacher in . After three years there, he moved on to teaching first, second and fifth grade in in Naperville. For the past two years, Gerard has been an assistant principal in , split between two schools, Craughwell and Heritage Trail.

The Arbury Hills post is a promotion, but career advancement wasn't the only reason Gerard was drawn to the Summit Hill district.

"I was just very excited about the collaborative nature of Summit Hill and the warmness of the community and staff at Arbury Hills," he said, adding that among the first things he'll do when starting his job next week is to meet informally with the staff and community.

But that's for next week. With the meeting over, Gerard and his wife, Jennifer, still had a wedding anniversary to celebrate. Their plans for the rest of the evening?

"Go out to eat," Gerard said.

"Just don't take her out to White Castle," a board member advised.

Here's some more information about Gerard:


Residence: Naperville
Education: Earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.
Experience: A classroom teacher for 11 years, he spent the first three of them teaching first grade in Frankfort School District 157-C. After that, he taught first, second and fifth grade in Indian Prairie School District 204 before moving on to an assistant principal position at Troy CCSD 30-C.

Hudziak Moves to Rogus as Assistant Principal

Gerard's appointment leaves the district with only an assistant principal position at to fill. That spot opened up in the past month after Christine Hudziak, who held the position previously, was transferred to , where she'll serve in the same capacity.

"I'm excited to be going to the elementary school. It's nice to be back at that level," said Hudziak, who had been a kindergarten through sixth-grade and kindergarten through fourth grade assistant principal before coming to the Summit Hill district. She's going into her fifth year at D161, spending three years at and a year at Summit Hill Junior High.


Originally, former Principal Christine Carey was to be co-principal at Rogus with former Principal Kathy Klein. However, Carey announced her retirement last month, and the district turned the co-principal position into an assistant principalship. Hudziak asked for the transfer when she saw the opening posted.

Board Approves Rehiring Dismissed Teachers

Four district teachers who were honorably dismissed in March were hired back by the board Wednesday. The teachers were among the 22 who were let go as part of an overall staff reduction in the district.

The following are the teachers hired back, and the schools they will be teaching at:

  • Joseph Cardinal, Dr. Julian Rogus School
  • Lauren Clough, Rogus
  • Kyle Fisher, Rogus
  • Sandra Schlesselman, Summit Hill Junior High School


Other D161 Stories That Might Interest You:

Subscribe to Patch Newsletters for Headlines and Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox:

"Like" Patch's Facebook Pages for Updates Throughout the Day:

Rachel Gilmore July 12, 2012 at 03:31 PM
My son had Jeff Gerard as a first grader 12 or so years ago at Grand Prairie. He was a phenomenal teacher! Arbury Hills is very blessed to have him at the helm.
FSR July 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Congrats to Mr. Gerard and great to hear Summit Hill can still attract talent.
Jeff Libowitz July 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Jeff Gerard will do a GREAT job @ Arbury Hills! Congrats and welcome Jeff.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »