After five years at the helm of Willard Elementary School, Principal Merryl Brownlow has announced that she’s leaving the River Forest school for an administrative position in a Lombard school district.

Brownlow will serve as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at Lombard’s District 44, which serves K-8 students. Brownlow was hired at Willard in 2009. In a statement from District 90 Wednesday, Supt. Ed Condon called Brownlow a “passionate advocate for our students, staff and families.”

“Merryl is a dedicated and student-centered educator … and has been a tremendous leader for Willard Elementary School over the last five years. We wish her the very best in her new position,” Condon said.

In that same statement, Brownlow said, “While it is difficult to leave Willard, moving into an assistant superintendent position is the next natural step on my professional journey.”

Highland Park-based School Exec Connect will conduct D90’s search for a new principal, Condon said. Brownlow will stay on at Willard through the end of the school year.

A native of Glenview, Brownlow was principal of Glen Grove Elementary School prior to joining D90. She was classroom teacher for 10 years at school districts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Brownlow was also a special education administrator and an assistant principal at a southeast Pennsylvania school district.

District 44 serves about 3,000 students in seven schools with a faculty of roughly 200.

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