Hinsdale South’s principal has been named as the new principal of Lyons Township High School, effective July 1.
Brian Waterman, serving as the Darien high school’s top administrator for six years, will succeed David Franson, who is retiring after leading LT for a decade.
“At all levels, he rose to the top,” said LT Superintendent Tim Kilrea Dec. 16 before the School Board approved Waterman’s contract. “He’s focused on students and is well respected by teachers. He’s intelligent, approachable and fair.”
Waterman was selected from a field of 50 applicants narrowed to eight candidates interviewed and then three finalists, whom LT representatives visited at their respective schools.
The move makes Waterman the fifth administrator since April to leave Hinsdale High School District 86, following Superintendent Nicholas Wahl, Hinsdale Central Principal Michael McGrory, district business manager Jeff Eagan and director of human resources Troy Courtney.
“Isn’t this the best argument for a change in our School Board,” said resident Linda Burke, a critic of the board majority.
Kathy Wynn, the librarian at Hinsdale South High School, said the staff suspected Waterman was interviewing for a new job at Lyons Township.
“We had hints all over the place,” she said. “The people from LT were calling. They paid a site visit here.”
“South is losing a real good leader,” said Wynn, who worked for Waterman the six years.
“The relationships he has developed with students is extraordinary for a principal,” Wynn said. “The number of students he knows by first name, it astounds me, and he has done that from Day 1. That really means a lot to them and to the teachers. It sets a great example.”
The School Board, too, had nothing but good things to say about Waterman.
“It’s good for him, but very said for District 86 and Hinsdale South,” Jennifer Planson said. “He did great things for Hinsdale South. Personally, I’m sad to see him go.”
“My friends at LT are tickled pink,” said board member Kay Gallo.
District 86 Superintendent Bruce Law said he had no comment until Waterman tells him officially he is leaving. But Law said he knew Waterman had applied for the LT position.
Lyons Township High School Board President Mark Pera was excited about the choice.
“We have so much respect for Dave and what a tremendous job he has done, and we are totally confident you will also do an excellent job for our district,” Pera said.
Waterman told the LT Board he’s honored to have been selected and looks forward to his new position. He plans to schedule several days in the spring to meet with LT administrators to ensure a smooth transition.
“It was an outstanding process, very thorough,” Waterman said of the interviews. “Any time you’re hiring for such a position, it should be a thorough process, and all stakeholders should have input.”
In the short term, Waterman said his goals are to get to know everyone.
“It seems like such a welcoming family-oriented community,” he said.
Waterman introduced his wife, Julie, to the board with their sons, Nathan, 10, Justin, 8, and Andrew, 6.
Prior to joining Hinsdale South as principal six years ago, Waterman served as an assistant principal at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream for three years.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in business from Eastern Illinois University, Waterman taught business education at Westmont High School from 1999 until 2003, when he was named as an assistant principal.
Waterman earned a master’s degree in business administration from Eastern and a master’s degree in educational leadership from North Central College in Naperville. He was awarded a doctoral degree in leadership and administration from Aurora University. His doctoral dissertation focused on the value technology plays in a comprehensive suburban high school.
Under terms of a one-year contract at LT, Waterman will be paid $163,120.