Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 has named a new principal at Jefferson Early Childhood Center.
On Thursday, the District 64 Board of Education voted to hire Michele Barkley as the new principal at Jefferson, effective July 1st, 2023.
Since 2019, Ms. Barkley has served as the coordinator of early learning in Antioch School District 34. Prior to accepting that position, Barkley was the assistant principal for the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) in Grayslake. Additionally, Barkley previously worked as a special education teacher and then served as the director of student services in Winthrop Harbor District 1 for four years.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Barkley to the Jefferson Early Childhood Center,” said Superintendent Dr. Eric Olson. “Her wealth of experiences, connection with staff, and her passion for early childhood all came through strongly in the interview process.”
Barkley earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Dubuque, a Master's in Special Education, and a Master’s of Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, and anticipates a Doctorate in Education from Western Illinois University in 2023.
Barkley was chosen from a pool of 23 applicants. Five candidates were interviewed by a District 64 administrative committee consisting of district office and building administrators. The final two candidates were then interviewed by a committee that included district office administrators, Jefferson parents, and staff members.