Brooks boosts interim to permanent principal status

Former asst. principal had been acting principal since Khan's departure

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Brooks Middle School in Oak Park has a new permanent principal after the school's former principal, LeeAndra Khan, resigned to take another job last June. During a Jan. 23 regular meeting, the District 97 school board unanimously approved the appointment of April Capuder as principal. 

Capuder, who had been working as interim principal at the school since the start of this academic year, was given a 1-year contract with a base salary of $124,052. 

"I want to congratulate April on her appointment," said D97 Supt. Carol Kelley in a statement released after Capuder's appointment. 

"She has done an exemplary job at Brooks in her roles as interim principal this year and assistant principal before that," Kelley added. "I truly believe that her experience, leadership and tireless dedication to the success of our students will help both the school and our district reach new heights." 

Capuder was an assistant principal at Brooks for three years before becoming interim principal, and before she was hired at Brooks, Capuder worked in various roles at Schiller Park School District 81.

From 2006 until 2014, she was a seventh-grade science teacher, an eighth-grade math teacher, and a Common Core coordinator. Capuder graduated from National Louis University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and obtained a master's degree in school leadership from Concordia University Chicago. 

"I consider it a true honor to be able to continue my service to the Brooks and Oak Park communities," Capuder said in a district statement. "The faculty and staff at this school and throughout the district are doing amazing things to foster growth and development of our students." 

District officials said Brooks parents/guardians and staff were part of the search process, with both groups giving administration officials feedback about the qualities they desired in applicants and selecting members of teams that conducted interviews with prospective candidates. 

"I want to thank the members of the Brooks community for the critical role they played in the search process," Kelley said. "The assistance they provided was instrumental in filling this position with an individual whose passion for learning and commitment to education will help our students continue to thrive both in and out of the classroom."

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

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