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New principals announced at Crystal Lake South, Prairie Ridge

CRYSTAL LAKE – Replacements for two District 155 principals moving to new positions next fall have been approved by the Board of Education.

Scott Shepard and Steven Koch will take over as principals at Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge high schools, respectively, on July 1. They will replace Marsha Potthoff and Paul Humpa, who will remain in the district in different roles.

“Our national search yielded nearly 80 well-qualified applicants for these positions,” Board President Ted Wagner said in a news release. “Through an extensive interview process that includes employees, parents and students, these two differentiated themselves because of the visionary work they have championed in their current roles.”

Shepard has served as the principal at Marengo High School since 2008. During his tenure, he has overseen curricular enhancements, implemented a one-to-one digital learning environment, created student improvement programs and focused on enhancing a culture of inclusion.

He recently was named the Illinois Principals Association’s Kishwaukee Region Principal of the Year.

“The culture and expectations Scott fostered at Marengo High School matches closely with those held by Crystal Lake South’s employees, students and parents,” Wagner said. “He will continue the culture of inclusion and help the school move closer to our student goals.”

Koch began his career at Prairie Ridge in 2001 as an English teacher and served as the English department chairman from 2005 to 2008. During his time at District 155, he co-designed the district’s Framework for Quality Instruction and redesigned the mentoring and faculty induction program.

He currently is an adjunct professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and has been published in several education industry conferences and publications.

“Steve has shown a great talent for empowering teachers, faculty and staff to help each student reach his or her full potential,” Wagner said. “The programs he has developed have had a profound, positive effect on how we educate and serve our community’s students.”

Potthoff will serve as coordinator of grant management and educational services, and Humpa will return to the classroom to teach math.

“We are confident that their enthusiasm and passion for our students will continue to have a positive impact on our schools,” Superintendent Johnnie Thomas said in a news release.
District 155 includes Cary-Grove, Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South and Central high schools.

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