The Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Leipart to the Henry Puffer School principal position and Charles Brewster to the Kingsley School principal position during a Board meeting on Monday, April 25. Both will begin work in July 2022.
“I am pleased to recommend Mr. Leipart and Mr. Brewster to serve as Henry Puffer and Kingsley’s next principals, respectively. Both candidates are experienced educators and administrators, and I believe they will be a great asset to District 58,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “The interview teams felt strongly about both candidates and reported that both are proven leaders with the ability to form strong relationships with students, families, staff and community members.”
Dr. Russell added that District 58 received a significant amount of interest in this position from many highly-qualified candidates. The interview process comprised rounds of team interviews with staff, parents and administrators. The interview teams sought to identify a dynamic principal candidate who best fit the unique needs of the both school communities. District 58 also asked Henry Puffer and Kingsley families and staff to complete surveys identifying the characteristics they most desired in their new principal, and Dr. Russell held principal focus groups with students from each school.
“I appreciate all of the feedback we received; I was particularly impressed with how insightful our students were during the focus groups!” said Dr. Russell. “Both candidates also received very strong recommendations from their current and former colleagues. We used all of the feedback we received to inform our hiring decision.”
Leipart currently serves as the principal of Goodings Grove Elementary School in District Homer 33C (Lockport/Homer Glen, Illinois). During his three years in this role, Leipart initiated positive student-centered and data-informed school improvement systems, enhanced family and community communication, and served several district leadership roles. Previously, Leipart served as an assistant principal in District Homer 33C and as a second and third grade teacher in Plainfield District 202.
”The interview teams described Mr. Leipart as highly personable, experienced, knowledgeable, systems-oriented and dedicated to children,” said Dr. Russell.
Leipart earned a master’s degree in Leadership and Administration from Benedictine University, a master’s degree in Elementary Education K-9 from Lewis University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Pre-Law from Eastern Illinois University.
“I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to serve as principal of Henry Puffer School,” Leipart said. “I look forward to meeting our Puffer students, learning and honoring the Panther traditions, and collaborating with families and staff in support of our students!”
Brewster currently serves as an assistant principal in Glen Ellyn District 41 (Churchill Elementary 2018-present; Lincoln Elementary 2016-18). During his six years in this role, he has led special education programming, served as the 504 coordinator, and helped implement the school and district’s vision, mission and long-range plan. He previously served Chicago Public Schools for over a decade as an assistant principal, executive director of network supports, specialized services administrator/diverse learner support leader, special education teacher and as an instructional assistant.
”The interview teams described Mr. Brewster as relatable, calm, friendly, knowledgeable, caring, dedicated, and highly experienced in special education,” said Dr. Russell.
Brewster earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, a master’s degree in Special Education from Roosevelt University and a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Human Services from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
“I am honored to have been selected as the next principal at Kingsley, and am looking forward to building relationships and connecting with the Kingsley students, staff and community to continue the great work that they are doing,” Brewster said.