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Woodland Board of Education Approves Appointment of Future Superintendent

The Woodland District 50 Board of Education at its Governing meeting on April 25 approved a resolution appointing Associate Superintendent of Education Dr. Lori Casey as superintendent, effective July 1, 2020, following the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Joy A. Swoboda.

"I am humbled and honored, to work in a community which values high expectations, community engagement, and love, equity and respect for every student. My passion for education in the Woodland community means I am here to support our outstanding staff so we can do amazing things together to serve our students. During my tenure as superintendent, I will not lose sight of the tremendous responsibility and honor I have been given with our children,” Dr. Casey said.

Dr. Casey is in her 21st year at Woodland, which has approximately 5,700 students and more than 800 employees at four school buildings. The resolution means Dr. Casey will be superintendent for the 2020-2021 school year and the 2021-2022 school year after which she will retire per a previously approved contract. Her retirement contract puts her salary in her first year as superintendent at $198,000. The resolution approved by the Board on April 25 says that upon completion of two years as superintendent, she will receive two $50,000 payments.

Dr. Casey began her career in education as an instructor of primary through high school age students for the Special Education District of Lake County. After working in the special education district, she worked with children who have learning disabilities and social emotional disorders at Northwood Junior High in Highland Park, followed by work as a diagnostician and teacher of first and second grade children with learning disabilities at Hawthorn Primary School in Vernon Hills and then as a supportive programs teacher and coordinator at Hawthorn Junior High School.

Dr. Casey has been awarded the Special Education District of Lake County Outstanding Educator of the Year, Walmart Teacher of the Year as well as a commendation from the Gurnee Police Department for her work in relation to school safety. She serves as a Board Member for the Exchange Club of Gurnee as well as Warren Township Healthy Communities Healthy Youth. She has presented at local and state conferences on Restorative Practices, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and best practices in leadership. Her first role at Woodland was special education supervisor for the Middle School followed by an assistant principalship at Elementary East and then principal at Woodland Primary School. Her role as Associate Superintendent of Education at Woodland began 10 years ago.

Dr. Swoboda said, "Lori is an exceptional leader and human being. It's been my privilege to work with her in multiple capacities over the last 21 years. Lori will provide insightful, stable, visionary leadership for the Woodland community.”

Woodland board members discussed conducting a superintendent search, but decided they had what they were looking for in a superintendent with Dr. Casey.

"We are fortunate to have someone of Lori's caliber and passion for the community who is willing to step up and provide Woodland with continued stability in leadership," said Dr. Carla Little, Woodland Board of Education President.