District 202 to get new superintendent
thetimesweekly.com | 3/23/2021, 6 a.m.
Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 Associate Superintendent Glenn Wood will replace Lane Abrell as superintendent of schools in 2022-23.
The District 202 Board of Education approved the change and extended Wood’s contract through 2025 to reflect the change in position at its March 22, 2021 regular meeting. Abrell will retire in June 2022.
The decision follows an extensive 18-month review process during which the Board named Wood associate superintendent and increased his leadership responsibilities.
Board President Kevin Kirberg praised Wood for his strategic direction, curricular leadership, and guidance in developing the district’s remote learning plans and programs this past year, among numerous achievements.
“The Board has observed first-hand his work in this expanded role and the strategic planning work he has supported both here in District 202 and in other districts over his career,” Kirberg said.
“We strongly feel that Dr. Wood has the requisite skills and abilities to continue our commitment to preparing learners for the future.”
Wood will continue his current duties while also shadowing Abrell over the next year. District 202 used the same year-long shadowing/transition process when Abrell replaced former Superintendent of Schools John Harper in 2013-14. Harper retired in 2014.
“A transition year helps to provide stability in what has been become extremely challenging times in society and in education,” Abrell said.
“Dr. Wood has been a leader in many areas including our efforts to expand cultural competency as well as implementing a program for foreign language at the middle school level, increasing dual credit and advanced placement courses at the high school level, and the planning for all day kindergarten,” Abrell said.
“He has strong interpersonal communication skills and understands the culture and climate we strive to develop and maintain each and every day,” Abrell added. “There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Wood is the right leader to move District 202 forward.”
Wood, a 29-year education veteran, came to District 202 in 2009 as the director for high school curriculum and instruction. He had served as principal of Victor Andrew High School in Tinley Park for three years.
He started his education career in 1992 as a math teacher at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Heights.
At District 202 Wood served for three years as high school curriculum director before being named assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in 2012.
Under Wood’s leadership, District 202 implemented numerous initiatives to improve student achievement including creating a student ambassador program; creating the Technology Trailblazer program to efficiently add technology to the classroom.
He also helped lead efforts to implement full-day kindergarten for all eligible students; adding Chinese immersion program; implementing a student growth component for teacher and administrator evaluation; creating a standards-based elementary report card; and leading a Common Core State Standards community engagement plan, among many others.
Wood also instituted district-wide accountability processes including customized data reports created for schools; a data analysis process for local, state, and federal accountability measures; and practical models for district and school-wide reform and improvement.
As well, he led efforts to increase dual credit and Advanced Placement offerings; added a high school Seal of Bi-literacy program; and helped create and lead the district’s Cultural Competency Committee.
Wood also participated in and helped lead district-wide strategic planning work, and teacher contract negotiations.
“I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to continue to serve the District 202 community and build upon the many things that have been accomplished through the years,” Wood said.
Growing up, he said he knew he wanted to work in education and came to realize he could have the largest impact as a superintendent.
“My goal is to help children create a better future for themselves by improving opportunities, serving students, supporting staff, and connecting with the community,” Wood said.