HUNTLEY – District 158 opted for a familiar face to replace retiring Huntley High School Principal Dave Johnson, one with the background to guide the school through future expansion, Superintendent John Burkey said.
The district board recently named Marlowe Middle School Principal Scott Rowe as the successor to Johnson, who has overseen the high school for the past 17 years as it grew from 300 students in 1996 to roughly 2,400 students today.
Rowe, 32, now will have the task of continuing that development, as the Huntley-based school district starts to expand the high school to house 3,000 students by 2019.
Rowe has spent the past two years managing Marlowe, the district’s second-largest school, and has prior high school experience as a teacher and coach in McHenry.
“We aren’t looking for any radical changes at the high school,” Burkey said. “We are looking for Scott to lead the high school and to keep the high school growing.”
A team of teachers and administrators selected Rowe from a pool of nine candidates. Rowe was the only in-house candidate to interview for the job after Johnson announced his retirement in December.
When he officially starts July 1, Rowe likely will see the school’s athletic fields under construction, a product of the district’s initial effort to expand Huntley High School.
Unveiled in January, the district’s expansion plan will only intensify in the coming years, and Rowe will be part of the decisions to expand hallways and transform classrooms to meet the needs of 3,000 students.
“It was kind of mixed emotions about moving to the high school. Marlowe is a wonderful place, and I absolutely love it,” Rowe said. “But with the changes coming to the high school, it’s an exciting time to be moving on.”
Rowe already has met with the project’s architects about the expansion plan and the future needs of the school. Once started, he plans to meet with teachers to get a sense of their needs.
He also will be tasked with expanding the school’s emerging blended learning curriculum that is driven by technology and a student-oriented learning style.
Rowe said he will keep in constant contact with Johnson in the months ahead as he prepares to meet department heads, teachers and administrators after July 1.
“Now the focus is on maintaining things [at Marlowe] and wrapping up the school year, but also starting a new chapter in my career at Huntley High School,” Rowe said. “I’m anxiously waiting the day I get to start.”
Before leading Marlowe, Rowe was assistant principal for three years at Parkland Middle School in McHenry. Previously, he was a social studies teacher, football and softball coach at McHenry High School’s West Campus, after moving from his home state of Missouri.
Rowe will earn $125,000 as Huntley High School’s principal.