Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Superintendent Laurie Heinz has announced that she will resign at the end of the 2018-19 school year on June 30 to become Superintendent of Community Consolidated School District 15 in Palatine, which is the second largest elementary school system in Illinois with a staff of almost 2,000 serving more than 12,000 students in 20 schools. Dr. Heinz will be the first woman to head District 15 in its history.
“The added challenge of leading a large, diverse and high quality district like Palatine along with a rare invitation to return to where I began my career as an administrator -- and which set me on a path of seeking continuous improvement in every district I have led -- is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I simply cannot pass up,” Dr. Heinz said.
“I am very sad, however, to leave the wonderful students, dedicated teachers and administrators, and engaged families here in District 64. It has truly been my honor and sincere pleasure to know and work within the District 64 community over these past five years,” Dr. Heinz noted.
During her tenure, Dr. Heinz led the creation of a community-driven 2020 Vision Strategic Plan that focuses resources on a clear mission “to inspire every child to discover, learn, achieve, and care.”
“I am very proud that through our plan, we have focused on mapping and improving our rigorous core curriculum, offering more intervention support as well as access to a talent development program, customizing professional development to keep growing teachers, crafting a comprehensive safety and security plan, and increasing student engagement through the use of technology as part of our future-ready 21st century learning initiatives,” Dr. Heinz stated. This ambitious plan most recently resulted in the selection of Washington Elementary School as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon Award school this fall.
In addition to strengthening the educational program, Dr. Heinz also has overseen a comprehensive renewal of District 64’s aging neighborhood schools to ensure they are not only “safe, warm and dry,” but also flexible, 21st century learning environments. The five-year Master Facilities Plan also incorporated new safety and security upgrades at all schools.
District 64 finances have strengthened as well under Dr. Heinz’s leadership, with new, sustainable collective bargaining agreements negotiated with all employee groups and strong fiscal controls in place.
“Since joining us in 2014, Dr. Heinz has been a dynamic leader and collaborative partner to the Board and has successfully moved District 64 forward in every way,” according to D64 Board President Anthony Borrelli.
“We are sorry to lose this dedicated and talented educator to another district, but we wish her only the best as she takes on the added responsibilities in her expanded position,” Dr. Borrelli added.
“Our Board will conduct an extensive and thorough search for an equally strong leader, excellent communicator and gifted educator to carry on the work Dr. Heinz has set in motion and to maintain our focus on the growth of every child,” Dr. Borrelli added.
The District 64 Board is expected to meet after the holidays to begin planning the search for a new superintendent.