Orland junior high principal named to top post at Parker

Parker Junior High School has a new principal.

David Kennedy

David Kennedy, a 17-year teacher and administrator, has been appointed principal at Parker. Flossmoor School District 161 Superintendent Craig Doster announced the appointment at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

Kennedy assumes his new post on July 1, replacing the current principal, Lynn Westerlund. She is retiring at the end of the school year.

School board members unanimously approved the appointment.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Kennedy said after the meeting. “This is a great school and a great school district.” He said he is looking forward to working with Parker students, staff and parents.

Kennedy is currently the principal of Jerling Junior High School, one of three middle schools in Orland District 135. He has been Jerling’s principal for the last three years. Parker is the only junior high school in the Flossmoor district.

According to the Illinois School Report Card, Parker had 911 students in 2014, and Jerling had 611.

Kennedy has been an administrator at the high school and junior high levels for the last 10 years, Doster said.  Prior to becoming an administrator, he taught high school social studies and coached baseball, basketball and volleyball. He received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and his master’s in education administration from Governors State University.

“Mr. Kennedy appreciates the opportunity to become part of the Flossmoor School District 161 learning community,” Doster said. “He will work diligently with all stakeholders to provide a rewarding experience for all of our students and staff and focus on building positive community relationships.”

The search for a new Parker principal started in March. Since then candidates have met with district administrators and teachers, as well as parents and other community members.   

Westerlund has been Parker principal since July 2013. She previously served as principal at Serena Hills School for 11 years. Westerlund first joined District 161 in 1990 as a second grade teacher at Western Avenue School.

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