Summit School announces new leadership team
From Submitted Reports September 13, 2013 12:46PM
Updated: October 17, 2013 6:03AM
ELGIN — Summit, Inc. has announced new leadership and administrative appointments at the school for children with learning and other difficulties.
Johanna White, Summit School principal for the past eight years, has been appointed president and chief executive officer. The new principal for Summit School is Helene Kraus. And Rebecca Gliesmann Gillie has been named coordinator of business operations.
White takes over from Robert Hansen, who recently retired from the position he held since 2009. Prior to Hansen’s position with Summit, he retired from Community Unit School District 300 after serving as a school administrator for 31 years.
“We express our deep appreciation to Bob Hansen, who was an integral part of the realization of our mission several years ago to offer one single location for our two premier special education schools — Summit School and Summit Early Learning Center, at our main campus on River Road,” Leo Flanagan Jr., board chairman, said in a release.
“The board of directors is pleased to have a seamless transition in the leadership roles at Summit Inc. Johanna brings valuable experience as an administrator and an educator of students who have identified learning, attention and/or social difficulties.”
White received her bachelor’s degree from Quincy College in sociology and a master’s degree in special education from Western Illinois University. She also has an educational specialist degree in administration from Northeast Missouri State.
Prior to her position as principal of Summit School, she worked for 34 years in administrative positions in special education in various Illinois public school districts.
She and her husband, David Soderstrom, reside in McHenry.
“I look forward to working with our board of directors to create strong partnerships and to continue the strong legacy of Summit School specializing in teaching children by maximizing individual potential,” White said in the release.
Kraus has served over 34 years in public school special education and most recently as director of special education for the Marengo-Union Elementary School District 165.
Kraus received her undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and her master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She and her husband, Mike, reside in Crystal Lake.
Gillie assumes her role from Judy Lovett, who recently retired after being affiliated with Summit School for nearly 25 years, starting at the Dundee Campus where she held the positions of assistant, purchasing agent and receptionist.
Gillie started as a paraprofessional in the autism program for five years and moved into the business office in 2011. She has an associate’s degree from Elgin Community College. She and her husband, Brad, reside in Marengo with their son, Emmett.
Summit School serves elementary through high school students from more than 42 school districts with identified learning, attentional and/or social difficulties, including children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Summit School Early Learning Program, led by director Karen Romano, delivers early childhood education through the Preschool for All and Preschool at Risk programs, the release said.
Members of the Summit School Inc. Board of Directors include Flanagan; Jeanette Mihalec, secretary; David Dattilo, treasurer; and Dr. Joan Fedota, Barbara Ferguson, John Ostrem, Mike Polchopek, Dr. David Scarpino and Darlene Ziebell.
Summit School is at 333 W. River Road. More information is at www.summitelgin.org or by calling 847-468-0490.