It’s a new school year for the students of School District U-46, and it’s likewise a new and exciting time for the district, as it welcomes two new, high-level administrators, three new principals and two new administrative directors.
School District U-46 and school administrators oversee schools, district-wide programs and services, collaborate with staff and teachers, and guide our families to help students achieve academic success.
“We always look forward to the start of a new school year, and we are excited to welcome new professionals to key roles in the district, as well as longtime U-46 employees who are taking on new challenges,” said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “We know that they, along with all of our staff, will work hard on behalf of the District’s more than 39,000 students and their families.”
Classes resume Wednesday, Aug. 15, for more than 39,000 kindergarteners through 12th graders across School District U–46.
Officials say the school year promises continued innovation and excellence, including the district’s universal play-based full-day kindergarten program, the addition of guidance counselors to middle school, and, at the high school level, an upgraded math curriculum and the expansion of its award-winning Dual Language program.
The following individuals are some of the leaders who have been named to positions that were left vacant due to retirements, resignations, or other opportunities within the district.
Dr. Josh Carpenter — Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
Josh Carpenter stepped into the role of Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in February this year.
Carpenter last served as the executive director of Student Growth and Accountability for Community Consolidated School District 59, a K-8 district of 11 elementary schools and three junior high schools in the northwest suburbs.
In his two years in the role, Carpenter provided leadership and support in developing, implementing, monitoring, and sustaining an innovative and comprehensive student data and assessment system that connects assessment to instruction and facilitates the use of assessment results to target instruction and intervention.
His leadership responsibilities included evaluation of school principals, department facilitators, and working closely with all administrators, coaches, and teachers integrating formative assessment practices in schools and individual classrooms
Prior to taking on the cabinet-level position in District 59, Carpenter served as the director of the Math and Talent Development Program in the district for a year. He was responsible for directing overall efforts in the areas of math and gifted and talented education.
His work included the evaluation of student performance and specific areas, organization and efficiency of resources, 21st century teaching and learning, and professional development.
From 2003 to June 2014, Carpenter served in a variety of leadership roles, including principal and assistant principal, in Community Consolidated School District 15 and Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103. He began his career as a junior high language arts and history teacher in Community Consolidated School District 15 in Palatine.
Carpenter has served on a variety of district-wide committees and is a member of the Illinois and National Gifted Association and a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Carpenter earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Elmhurst College, a Master of Arts degree in leadership at North Central College and his doctorate in educational leadership from Aurora University.
Lela Majstorovic — Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools Instruction and Equity
Lela Majstorovic brings a decade of leadership experience in Chicago Public Schools to her new role overseeing U-46’s secondary schools.
She last served as a network chief of schools for CPS, supporting and overseeing 44 schools and principals, more than 2,600 teachers, and more than 34,000 students on the Northwest side of Chicago with a total budget of more than $200 million.
From November 2015 to July 2017, Majstorovic worked as a deputy chief of schools in a CPS network where she oversaw principals in 26 elementary schools and six high schools, supported professional learning opportunities for principals and teachers and established systems that helped improve student academic performance.
She helped create partnerships with Loyola and Northeastern Universities, resulting in more than 30 teachers obtaining ESL endorsements and participating in a two-year teacher development program focused on teaching English Language Learners.
Other roles at CPS included serving as an instructional leader, an assistant deputy chief of schools, and an assistant principal at William Rainey Harper High School in Chicago. She began her career as an English teacher in 2006 at Englewood Technical Preparatory Academy, where she worked for two years.
Majstorovic simultaneously earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education from Loyola University Chicago. She earned a Master of Education degree in educational leadership from the American College of Education.
High School Principals
Krystal R. Bush — Principal of the Dream Academy
Krystal Bush comes to the Dream Academy, the district’s alternative educational program, after serving as the associate principal of South Elgin High School during the 2017-18 school year. In that role, Bush coordinated SEHS operations for staff and more than 2,700 students to promote a safe and supportive environment for student achievement.
Bush was the assistant principal at Liberty Elementary School in Bartlett during the 2016-17 school year. From 2012 to 2016, she served as a dean of students at Streamwood High School, where she worked to foster relationships with students, staff, parents, and community partners.
From 2000 to 2012, Bush worked at Proviso East High School in Maywood, first as a part-time evening school dean and physical education and health teacher. She was then promoted to evening school supervisor, associate department chair and, ultimately, dean of students from 2007 to 2012.
As a dean, Bush monitored and counseled students on discipline infractions, issued consequences for all discipline referrals which included parent conferences. Bush started her career as a junior high teacher.
Bush earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a focus on health and physical education from Xavier University in New Orleans and a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership from Concordia University. She is working toward earning her doctorate in educational leadership from National Louis University.
Elementary School Principals
Dustin Covarrubias — Principal at Willard Elementary School, Elgin
Dustin Covarrubias brings more than a decade of experience in U-46 to his new position. He comes to Willard after serving as the assistant principal of Huff Elementary School in Elgin.
Covarrubias also was an instructor for 10 years at Tefft Middle School in Streamwood, where he taught social studies, Project Lead the Way, health, and physical education. He participated in re-writing the district’s health curriculum and served on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team at Tefft for seven years to establish positive reinforcements for students to encourage good behavior.
Covarrubias has also coached football, boys and girls basketball, high school baseball, high school track and field, and girls and boys volleyball during his tenure in School District U-46.
He was a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools from 2004-2007 prior to coming to School District U-46.
Covarrubias earned his Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Illinois State University, a Master of Science in education from the American College of Education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction, and a Master of Science in principal leadership from St. Thomas University with a concentration in administration.
John E. Signatur — Principal at Bartlett Elementary School, Bartlett
John Signatur brings nearly a decade of leadership experience to U-46 and his new role.
He most recently served, from 2009 to 2018, as the principal at Hodgkins Elementary School in School District 105 in Hodgkins. There, he created school improvement teams for shared leadership of the school improvement plan and collaboratively set annual progress and achievement targets for the school and individual teacher teams.
In addition to the targeted strategies for academic growth for all students, Signatur supported a positive school environment using the PBIS approach to set schoolwide expectations. He increased parent engagement through learning breakfasts and partnered with community businesses to support the extended learning program at the building.
Signatur was a lead at the district level working with the gifted renewal process. He supported the continuous improvement of teachers through supervision and appraisal using the Danielson Framework and facilitated professional learning sessions around the topics of teaching students from poverty, cultural awareness, and the growth mindset.
Prior to his principalship at Hodgkins Elementary School, he served as an elementary teacher at that same building from 2001 to 2009.
Signatur earned his National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in 2006. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a Master of Education degree in teaching and learning at DePaul University and his Master of Education in leadership and administration from Benedictine University.
District Programs and Departments
Kinasha J. Brown — Director of Educational Pathways
Kinasha J. Brown has been selected to take on the role of director of educational pathways.
Brown has served since 2014 as the district’s coordinator of Career and Technical Education System, where she has planned, implemented and evaluated staff development activities to improve career and technical education awareness, knowledge, and skills while also coordinating regional CTE member districts to assure quality programming.
In addition to management responsibilities, including managing budgets and staff members, Brown has been a leader in the education-to-careers initiative and facilitates partnerships with business, labor and post-secondary institutions, including Elgin Community College.
She has also served as a leader for the Northern Kane County Regional Vocational System by working closely with District U-46, District 300, District 301, and District 303 to maintain funding and meet labor market demands.
Prior to taking on her role at U-46, Brown served from 2006 to 2014 as an associate professor/health professions program director at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL, where she was responsible for the planning, policy, operations and oversight of academic and clinical programs.
She previously worked as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools.
Brown earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration with a concentration in healthcare management from Robert Morris University. She earned a Master of Arts degree in secondary education at Roosevelt University and a Specialist Degree in educational leadership from Walden University in Minnesota.
Elena Hildreth — Director of Food & Nutrition Services
Elena Hildreth has more than 25 years leading and managing federal breakfast and lunch programs, called the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program, through contractors that work with K-12 school districts. She has a proven track record of managing both contractor and school district annual budgets.
She comes to U-46 after serving as a district manager for Quest Food Management Services, where she oversaw operations for more than 20 school district contracts and managed more than $15 million in annual sales.
She also provided allergen management and menu analysis for school breakfast and lunch programs to ensure full compliance with the United States Department of Agriculture regulations, and was a key participant in acquiring new businesses after joining the Lombard-based company in 2007.
Hildreth earned her Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant management at the University of Wisconsin, Stout.
SOURCE: School District U-46 news release