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D219 Board Approves Five Administrative Appointments

The Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education at its June 6 meeting approved the appointment of five administrators: La Wanna Wells as the district’s Director of Equity; Marlon Felton as Assistant Principal of Operations at Niles North; Joseph Bruzzino as Director of Niles Central; Whitney Draegert as Director of Business Services for the district; and Terry Stroh as K-12 Director of Science Curriculum & Instructional Supervision. All the appointments are effective July 1.

La Wanna Wells will be D219’s new Director of Equity. She comes from Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School, where she has been an English teacher since 2005. She serves the school as Social-Emotional Academic Intervention Leader on the School Improvement Planning Committee and coordinates professional development for teachers and staff on improving  the academic achievement of underperforming students. She has also served as the school’s Staff Development and Literacy Content Coach.

Wells is completing her Doctor of Education degree in Administration and Supervision from Loyola University. She earned a Master’s in Educational Administration from Governors State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching from Northern Illinois University, where she was named Exemplary Student Teacher of the Year.

Marlon Felton has been named Assistant Principal of Operations at Niles North High School, a position he served on an interim basis since April. Felton has been Director of Deans at North since 2011, after becoming a Dean of Students there in 2006. He started in the district as a Special Education teacher in 2004. He has also served the school as head wrestling coach and was D219’s summer school principal in 2016.

Felton earned his Bachelor of Arts in Special Education/High Incidence from Northern Illinois University in 2003 and Master of Arts in Education/School Leadership from Concordia University in 2006.

Joseph Bruzzino will take the helm as new Director of Niles Central High School, the district’s alternative therapeutic school. Bruzzino currently serves as Coordinator of Supplemental and Alternate Programming at Consolidated Unit School District 300, which is headquartered in Algonquin. In his six years in that position, he coordinated the night and summer school programs that serve students from the district’s three high schools: Dundee-Crown, Hampshire and Harry D. Jacobs. He was also responsible for administering education to medically homebound students via online curriculum. He is a licensed Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) trainer and a trainer in restorative justice and practices. Prior to that, Bruzzino served as Dean of Students for three years at Hampshire High School and before that was Dean of Students for Special Education at J. Sterling Morton High School in Berwyn.

Bruzzino earned a Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership and Special Education from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Eastern Illinois University. He is currently working on his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Aurora University.

Whitney Draegert was appointed Director of Business Services/Chief School Business Official, with the responsibility of helping the Assistant Superintendent for Business administer the fiscal affairs of the district. Some of her duties include: coordinating the development and administration of the annual school budget and long-range financial plan for the district; overseeing an accounting system to ensure accurate accounting of all funds, receipts and disbursements for the district; monitoring the procurement process to facilitate the acquisition of required materials, equipment and services; supervising the accounts receivables processes; and supervising the payroll processes.

Draegert came to the district in July 2016 as Staff Accountant. Before that she was an accountant for the Northern Suburban Special Education District in Highland Park. She worked as Senior Accountant for eight years for the firm of Evoy, Kamschulte, Jacobs & Co., LLP in Waukegan, specializing in performing audits for school districts and nonprofit organizations.

While at D219, Draegert earned a Master of Science in School Business Management from Northern Illinois University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, with a double major in Accounting & Finance, from DePaul University.

Terry Stroh will be K-12 Director of Science Curriculum & Instructional Supervision. He will coordinate the ongoing development and implementation of Science curriculum and instruction between the high schools and the elementary districts that are participating in the Classrooms First initiative. Stroh is currently Director of Science and Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Consolidated Unit School District 300 in Algonquin, where he is responsible for the management and implementation of the Science and CTE Departments for grades K-12 within the district. He oversaw the implementation of the district’s new K-5 STEM curriculum that was rolled out in all 17 elementary schools during the 2016-17 school year.

Stroh served Jacob High School in Algonquin for four years as Science Division Head. Before that he was a Science teacher for five years at South Elgin High School. He has been a member of Elgin Community College’s STEM Team for the last five years. He earned a Master of Arts in Education Leadership as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching, Secondary Education, from Concordia University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Administration from Lewis University.