She is currently the principal at Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire and will begin the new job in Lake Forest on July 1. She was chosen from among six finalists for the position, the announcement said.
The following is the full announcement from District 65:
At its Tuesday January 28 meeting, the Lake Bluff District 65 Board of Education named Margaret St. Claire as Principal of Lake Bluff Elementary School. Ms. St. Claire, a resident of Green Oaks, Illinois, is currently Principal at Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire.
The appointment comes after a four-month search process conducted by education executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. A profile of the ideal candidate was created using data from focus groups, an online survey for parents, and input from Board members, teachers and administrators. Candidates were then matched to the profile, and the top six met with Lake Bluff School Superintendent Dr. Jean Sophie, her administrative team and a representative from the Lake Forest schools.
“From early in the interview process, Margaret stood out as the best candidate,” said Dr. Sophie. “Parents, community members and staff had said it would be important to choose a Principal who could provide a strong consistency of leadership and be able to support the staff as we move forward. Margaret is a natural fit for these needs, and her experience in, and fondness for, the elementary school setting make her a perfect fit for Lake Bluff. Her track record of successful implementation of initiatives and instructional growth, and her strong knowledge of curriculum are also vital to our future. Finally, she is a great listener and a positive communicator who loves children and will work so well with our families.”
Ms. St. Claire served as Assistant Principal at Daniel Wright before being appointed Principal. Before that, she was Assistant Principal at the Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade Academy of Our Lady School in Waukegan. She was also a classroom teacher in grades 1, 3 and 4 in Lake Forest District 67, and a long-term substitute in the gifted program of Oak Grove School District 68, and worked as an adjunct faculty member/student teacher supervisor at National-Louis University. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education (Administration) from National-Louis University, and a B.Ed. Degree with a major in Elementary Education from Purdue University.
“My roots and my heart are in elementary education, and I am so happy to have found a fit in an elementary school where I can settle in,” said Ms. St. Claire. “Lake Bluff Elementary School already feels like home to me. The teaching staff is so dedicated, and there is such support from the parents and administrators. I know the District is looking for stability, efficiency and a positive approach, and I am looking forward to providing these while creating and sustaining a culture of high expectations.”
Ms. St. Claire has a daughter who is a junior at Libertyville High School and a son who is studying engineering at Purdue University.
Ms. St. Claire will attend several community events in the Spring, and will begin as Principal on July 1, 2014. To allow the time and attention needed for a thoughtful, deliberate and inclusive search for the new LBES principal, retired educator Dr. Barbara West has been serving as the school’s interim principal for the 2013-14 school year.