Board approves three administrative appointments

Photos of three new administrators on orange background

The Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education unanimously approved three administrative appointments during the Board’s June 12 meeting. Kelly Novotny was appointed as the new assistant principal at Herrick and Danielle Bongiorno was appointed as the new assistant principal at O’Neill Middle School. They will begin July 27. Additionally, Michelle Kovar was appointed as Manager of Business Services and will begin July 1. 

Kelly Novotny, Herrick Assistant Principal

“Ms. Novotny is an accomplished educator, committed to the students and school community of Herrick Middle School,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. During multiple rounds of interviews, “the interview teams described her as an effective leader who has built strong relationships with students, colleagues, and families,” he said.

Ms. Novotny is a 20+ year English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Herrick and serves as Chair of the ELA Department at Herrick. She has actively served on District committees, most recently as co-facilitator of the Gifted Committee. The interviewing team was impressed with Ms. Novotny’s strong leadership skills and positive relationships with Herrick’s staff, students and families.

The new position was created because of Herrick’s larger enrollment and to be equitable between the two middle schools.

Ms. Novotny earned her master's of arts in the Principal Preparation Program from Concordia University in River Forest, her master's of science in education/educational psychology from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor's of science in elementary education, also from Northern.

“I am honored to continue and strengthen the partnership with the amazing students, staff, and families of Herrick, she said. “I want to thank the administration and the Board of Education for this incredible opportunity.”

Ms. Novotny lives in Woodridge with her husband Rod, and two step-children. 

Danielle Bongiorno, O’Neill Assistant Principal

“Ms. Bongiorno brings to the team a wealth of knowledge on instructional practices, particularly in math,“ said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “The interview teams described her as a strong leader who is committed to building very positive relationships. She will be an asset to the O’Neill community.”  

Ms. Bongiorno has been a math teacher at Glen Crest Middle School in District 89 (Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Wheaton) for the past 10 years. She has been a team leader and facilitator of parent groups to foster home-school partnerships within the school community. She brings to the team deep knowledge of curriculum and instruction, is student-centered and is a collaborative team member. She is currently a resident of District 58.

Ms. Bongiorno earned her master's of arts in educational leadership from North Central College, a master's of arts in teaching from National Louis University and a bachelor's of arts in psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“I am excited to serve the DG58 community,” she said, and “I look forward to the opportunity to build partnerships with parents, staff, and the community to ensure that students have the opportunity to thrive at O'Neill Middle School and as future learners. As a community member, I know that Downers Grove is a special area that prides itself on providing students with the best opportunities to excel.” 

Ms. Bongiorno lives in Downers Grove with her husband Tony and two children, ages 3 and 1. 

Michelle Kovar, Manager of Business Services

Ms. Kovar is an experienced leader with skills in business management, improving business processes and strong customer service experience. 

She has served as Student Accounts/Operation Manager with Community Unit School District 300 in Algonquin. There, she was the district’s liaison with the Food Service Management Company, managed all student fee accounts, supervised team members, provided accounting and bookkeeping assistance and provided training to staff on work processes and finances, among other duties. Other positions she held in District 300 included Business Office Coordinator, Accounts Receivable Coordinator, Student Finance Leader and Middle School Secretary. Prior to that she served as Office Manager for a construction company.

“She brings a lot of experience and knowledge about financial processes and school finance operations,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “Interview teams described her as a problem solver who has a history of positive customer service.”

Ms. Kova has a bachelor’s of science degree in business management and a master’s of education/school business management, both from Northern Illinois University. She earned her Chief School Business Officer endorsement in May 2018.

“Building on my previous 10 years of experience from a larger K-12 district, I look forward to joining the DG58 team and working with dedicated leaders who continue to invest district resources to positively impact the student experience,” said Ms. Kovar.