Lauryn Humphris appointed O’Neill Middle School Principal

O'Neill middle school principal appointment

The Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education last night appointed Lauryn Humphris to serve as the principal of O’Neill Middle School, effective July 1, 2023. Ms. Humphris will replace current Principal Matt Durbala, who will retire this June after serving as O’Neill’s principal with distinction for the past 18 years.

“It is my honor to recommend Ms. Humphris to the O’Neill Middle School principal position,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “Ms. Humphris excelled throughout a very competitive interview process. The interview teams described Ms. Humphris as enthusiastic, hard-working, student-centered and dedicated. Additionally, her references noted that Ms. Humphris is a strong leader who works closely with teachers and support staff to achieve great outcomes for students. She values staff input and will go above and beyond for all stakeholders. Finally, Ms. Humphris is a proud O’Neill Middle School and Fairmount Elementary School alumna. We are beyond excited to welcome her back to her hometown!” 

Dr. Russell added that the interview process comprised several rounds of team interviews with staff, parents/guardians and administrators. In addition, O’Neill staff, as well as O’Neill and south side elementary sixth grade parents and guardians, completed surveys identifying the characteristics they most desired in their new principal. District 58 used all of this feedback when selecting the new principal. 

Ms. Humphris currently serves as the assistant principal of Edison Middle School in Wheaton Warrenville District 200, a role she has held since 2016. In this position, she implemented and supported a responsible-centered discipline approach, oversaw all activities and transportation; helped hire, supervise and evaluate staff; and led the student services team and safety/security team.

Previously, she served several years as a teacher, team leader, professional learning community leader and instructional coach in School District 45 in Villa Park and Lombard. She also held leadership positions in the Villa Park Education Association and Illinois Education Association.

Ms. Humphris holds a master’s degree in School Leadership from Concordia University, a master’s degree in Teaching and Leadership from Saint Xavier University and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Augustana College.

“I have fond memories of my time at O’Neill Middle School and am grateful for the education I received. I am thrilled and honored to return as the school’s principal. I look forward to meeting the students, staff and families, and working together to make O’Neill the best it can be,” Ms. Humphris said. “I want to thank the administration and Board of Education for giving me this incredible opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started!”