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D-200 names new Woodstock High School principal

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:46 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:03 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – District 200 on Tuesday night named Woodstock High School's next principal.

Officials announced Justin Smith will take over the position vacated by Corey Tafoya, who took a job as an administrator in Crystal Lake District 155.

Smith has served as assistant principal at Woodstock North High School for two years.

He said leaving that school will be bittersweet.

"It's going to be really tough," Smith said. "I have a lot of good friends over there and the teachers do a great job on a daily basis."

Smith is the first hire of new superintendent Mike Moan, who officially starts with the district at the end of the month. Outgoing superintendent Ellyn Wrzeski helped, as did a committee of about 30 people.

Eight candidates interviewed for the job, Moan said. Smith was selected from three finalists.

Smith brings a student-centered approach while remaining data driven, Moan said.

"We're losing a great principal in Mr. Tafoya, but we're really confident that Justin is going to be able to come in and hit the ground running," Moan said.

Smith began his career as a math teacher, spending seven years in the classroom at Grant Community High School in Fox Lake before becoming the school's dean of students. He served in that role for five years.

"I'm very excited to get the chance to start at Woodstock High School," Smith said.

Also on Tuesday, the school board approved a severance deal for Jeffrey Steurer, an Olson Elementary School music teacher who faces charges for inappropriately touching two young girls.

As a part of his severance package, Steurer will be paid nearly $27,000. He denies wrongdoing but agreed to resign and release all claims.

The deal was approved unanimously as a part of the consent agenda.

Steurer's trial is set for July 10.

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