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Two new principals named in Indian Prairie School District 204

Michael Dutdut

Michael Dutdut

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Updated: February 11, 2014 11:40AM

Indian Prairie School Board members have approved the appointment of two educators familiar to the district to serve as principals next school year.

Michael Dutdut, assistant principal at Crone Middle School, was appointed principal of Hill Middle School in the district. Laurel Hillman, student services coordinator at White Eagle Elementary School, was appointed principal of Fry Elementary School.

The announcement came on the heels of the School Board’s announcement of Karen Sullivan to succeed Superintendent Kathy Birkett when she retires at the end of the school year after more than three decades in the district.

“It is phenomenal when we can recognize the finest people right in our boundaries of District 204,” Birkett said. “These people were vetted and vetted again.”

Dutdut will replace Darrell Echols when he takes over as principal of Metea Valley High School. The high school’s current principal, Jim Schmid, is retiring in June. Hillman will replace Dave Younce, who is leaving the district.

Dutdut taught language arts, science and history at Still Middle School and then served as a dean at Waubonsie Valley High School, prior to moving to his current position at Crone. He also coached football, track and Special Olympics. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of St. Francis in Joliet.

“I have been in District 204 for my whole career and every building has its own climate and culture and it has always been a great experience. I am looking forward to having a leadership role at Hill,” Dutdut said.

Dutdut, 33, said his mother was a District 204 employee for 36 years and taught at Hill. His wife, Jennifer, attended school at Hill and teaches in the Oswego School District.

Hillman started her career in 1995 in District 204 as a third-grade teacher at Georgetown Elementary School, where she was also student services coordinator until 2003, when she moved to White Eagle Elementary School in the same role. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Aurora University.

Hillman, 40, said the student services coordinator position is essentially a quasi-administrative position because there are no assistant principal posts at the elementary level.

“The challenge at Fry will be to maintain the level of excellence and keep moving forward,” Hillman said. “I think the excitement at the elementary level is that we get six years with a student and we get to see a tremendous amount of growth. It is exciting, inspiring and what keeps you coming back each day.”

Dutdut and Hillman will begin their new positions July 1.

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