Oak Brook Butler 53 Board picks new superintendent
Heidi Wennstrom has been chosen as the new superintendent for Butler Elementary District 53. | photo courtesy of Butler Elementary District 53
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:16AM
OAK BROOK — A new superintendent has been chosen for Butler Elementary District 53.
After receiving more than 75 applications and interviewing seven candidates, the District 53 Board chose Heidi Wennstrom to replace Sandra Martin, who is retiring. Wennstrom begins work July 1. The board is to confirm its choice at its Jan. 14 meeting.
Wennstrom didn’t actually apply for the position in District 53, but rather was recommended and recruited by BWP and Associates, a Libertyville-based professional search firm hired by the District 53 board.
“She wasn’t looking for a new job and was very happy in her job where she’s at,” board President Alan Hanzlik said. “We really liked her high level of focus on academics. She brings a strong commitment to robust student achievement and collaboration in Butler’s ongoing pursuit to continually improve.”
While District 53 will be Wennstrom’s first job as a superintendent, Hanzlik said the board believes her leadership roles while working in other districts have her well prepared for the job.
She currently serves as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for North Shore School District 112, which includes a dozen schools in Highland Park and Highwood. Before that, Wennstrom was assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Antioch District 34.
“As a leader, my passion is serving children and their families, and providing positive social-emotional learning environments so that every child is recognized, valued and enriched,” Wennstrom.
Wennstrom became assistant superintendent for teaching in learning in District 112 in July 2010. She has provided instrumental leadership to that district in the areas of curriculum development, differentiated instruction and strategic planning, said Superintendent David L. Behlow.
“She has a demonstrated record of accomplishment, and during her tenure here she has brought a high level of energy and creativity to her role,” Behlow said.
Wennstrom earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Trinity International University in Bannockburn, her master’s degree in educational leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Loyola University. She is working toward another doctorate in educational leadership and policy from National Louis University, which is expected to be conferred in 2013.
Wennstrom and her husband, Gary, live in Antioch, and have four children and one grandchild.