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District 47 welcomes two new principals

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:24 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:35 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Two Crystal Lake middle schools will have new principals next school year.

The Crystal Lake District 47 Board approved two out-of-district administrators to step in as the new heads of Hannah Beardsley Middle School and Richard Bernotas Middle School.

Stacy Graff, tapped to lead Hannah Beardsley, comes from Antioch Upper Grade School, where she served as principal, while Jeff Prickett will become principal at Richard Bernotas after serving in the same position at Round Lake Middle School.

The duo comes to the district after the current principals decided to leave their positions. Ron Ludwig, who has served as Hannah Beardsley principal since it first opened in 1996, decided to finish his career by returning to teach in the classroom.

Lori Sorensen, principal at Richard Bernotas, decided to leave her position to attend to personal family matters.

Superintendent Kathy Hinz said both new principals bring the experience and leadership administrators were looking for during the search. Graff has six years of administrative experience while Prickett has served in administrative roles for more than 10 years including a stint at McHenry School District 15.

"Each one of them brings with them a fabulous track record," Hinz said. "They are both very eager to get to know the staff, students and community."

Both principals introduced themselves to board members Monday and said the District 47 staff and teachers have been welcoming during visits. Both will officially start their new roles July 1.

District 47 also acquired more space, finalizing a contract with the Special Education District of McHenry County to purchase classrooms that had been rented. With SEDOM no longer needing the space in North, South and West elementary schools, Hinz said it made financial sense to end the rental agreement and purchase the space for $300,000.

The district can now use those classrooms for any purpose it needs.

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