officially named Jean Sophie as its next Superintendent, effective July 1, at Tuesday night's board meeting.
Sophie will replace , who was hired when to accept a similar position with Farmington Central District 265 in downstate Illinois.
Sophie is currently in her fourth year as Superintendent in Westchester District 92 ½. The district has 1,290 students and has a primary (kindergarten through second), intermediate (third through fifth) and middle school (sixth through eighth.
“I am looking forward to serving the District 65 learning community where there are high expectations for all students and the community supports an excellent world‐class education,” Sophie said. “I look forward to a 21st century skills focus and recognition as well as getting to know the students and their families.”
She was formerly the assistant superintendent for personnel and human services in Palatine Community Consolidated School District 15 with 13,000 students and more than 2,000 staff. In District 15, she also served as principal of an elementary school and as assistant principal at two junior high schools. Sophie previously taught business and computer classes in Palatine High School District 211. She served as PTA President at Marion Jordan School in Palatine when her children attended elementary school.
As a superintendent, Sophie has worked closely with students, staff, and families to increase student achievement. She has utilized a variety of sources for parent communication, was active in the community on the Westchester Chamber of Commerce, and worked closely with staff on the development of a new teacher evaluation tool and process. Sophie also sits on the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education Board as well as serves as president of the West Cook Illinois Association of School Administrators.
Sophie holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree and education specialist in educational administration, and a doctorate in educational administration, all from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She also completed her Chief School Business Official program at NIU.
Lake Bluff School Board President Mary Jane Brady called Sophie’s hire, "a proven educational leader."
"She is a natural fit for our district," Brady said. "Dr. Sophie’s hire is the culmination of a thorough search involving close scrutiny of numerous highly qualified candidates. At the end of the day she stood out by virtue of her record of solid achievement, work ethic, and emphasis on classroom excellence. I would like to thank my fellow board members for their diligent engagement, and the community for its participation and support in the process.”
Sophie and her husband Ray, an attorney, live in Barrington and have two grown children, Raymond and Spencer.
The district plans to host several receptions in the spring and summer so the community can meet Sophie.