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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published July 20, 2017

Assistant principal elevated to lead CHMS

By Ken Knutson

Clarendon Hills Middle School students will be welcomed by a new principal when they return to school next month, but he won’t need an introduction.
Levi Brown was approved as top administrator at the school by Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board members at a special meeting Friday.    He assumes the post after serving as assistant principal last year under Griffin Sonntag, who left in June to become principal of Pleasantdale Middle School in Burr Ridge.
   Speaking about his fresh job description Tuesday, Brown said his responsibility, working with parents, teachers and other influencers, is to ensure every student can navigate the often tumultuous middle school years.
   “Being in charge of the building is making sure that all the people that are involved in that child’s life are working together and communicating,” he said.
   As the child of a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force, Brown said he was exposed to a range of school environments through his family’s multiple military relocations. That experience informs his educational philosophy today.
   “I got into education because I wanted to help students learn in whatever capacity that is,” he said. “That’s that global piece of seeing education from many different viewpoints and understanding the importance of it from an early age.”
   Brown earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education at the University of Virginia and is currently finishing the dissertation for his doctorate in education policy and leadership from George Mason University.
   Before arriving at District 181, he served in Fairfax County Schools in Virginia as social studies teacher, advanced placement coordinator, dean of students and middle school assistant principal. Last year at CHMS he was particularly active in the school improvement planning process.
   “I’ve always been interested in education and I’ve always wanted to help,” Brown said. “I see my role here to help students learn in different ways, whether that’s academically, socially, emotionally.”
   Superintendent Don White, in a statement explaining his support of Brown, pointed to results from a survey of CHMS stakeholders indicating satisfaction with the school climate and performance and “a desire to see that work continued.”
   “I am extremely confident Mr. Brown is going to meet the needs of CHMS and maintain the school’s strong history of not only academic excellence, but also providing a truly well-rounded educational experience for students. He is passionate about serving in this role, and he has successfully demonstrated to me that he is ready for this position,” White said.
   Brown said he’s eager to get started.
   “The students, staff and parents of this district have made me feel at home this past year, and I look forward to building more positive relationships over the coming years,” he said. “I plan to maintain the school’s focus on high academic standards without compromising the importance of educating the whole child, especially during these crucial years of middle school.”


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