New Principal Named at Pleasantdale Elementary School
Kathleen Tomei, principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Elmhurst, will join Pleasantdale School District 107’s administrative team as the new principal of Pleasantdale Elementary School in La Grange. Tomei’s appointment was approved at the Dec. 21 Board of Education meeting and she will begin her new role July 1. Tomei was selected from 45 candidates who applied for the position. Superintendent Dave Palzet believes Tomei’s strong track record of instructional leadership and her strong background in curriculum and instruction will be a great asset to the school community.
“I am proud of the process that we implemented to find the best leader for Pleasantdale Elementary School,” said Palzet. “By including parents, staff, and administration in the process we made sure that all groups had a stake in the selection of our new principal. Kathleen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our school and will surely be able to bring our schools from great to greater.”
Tomei has spent nearly six years at Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205, serving as the principal of Lincoln Elementary, a 2012 National Blue Ribbon award-winning school. In this role, Tomei has served on a variety of district committees, facilitated the K-5 iPad Pilot, provided supportive coaching for teachers and organized professional development opportunities to improve instructional practices, promoted positive communication efforts with parents, PTA and the local community, along with creating unique learning opportunities for students.
Tomei began her foray into administration in 2008 as the K-8 assistant principal/K-2 acting principal in Lake Bluff School District 65 where she was named the K-8 District RtI Coordinator for one year. She also participated in numerous committees and managed tasks relating to curriculum, budget, discipline, staff development, student homelessness, abuse, academic non-performance, supervision, and hiring and dismissal. She launched her career in 1997 as a second grade teacher at Sprague School in Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103 and also spent time as a grade level team leader and mentor teacher for new staff.
A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, Tomei also holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University as well as a master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University. Tomei also attended the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma during her undergraduate studies.
Tomei is a member of local, state, and national associations including the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Illinois Principals Association, International Literacy Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development as well as an Advisory Board member at the Midwest Principals’ Center.
Echoing Palzet’s positive statements, Tomei feels honored to join the Pleasantdale community. She will be taking the helm following principal Matt Vandercar’s retirement on June 30.
“I chose Pleasantdale due to the small size of the District and strong sense of community at every level,” said Tomei. “The schools are supported by a strong Administrative Team which I am honored to join, an involved parent community that values education, and dedicated teachers who focus on the needs of their students by keeping instruction at the forefront of their work. I look forward to the opportunity to return to a high-performing, small district where students remain the focus of our collective work. I am eager to begin meeting students, staff and parents, so that we can begin our journey together.”
A resident of Elmhurst, Tomei has two sons and is a native of Arlington Heights.