Get to know Lisa Hichens
High School principal ready for role as district chief
By ERIC SCHELKOPF – firstname.lastname@example.org
BATAVIA – On July 1, Batavia High School Principal Lisa Hichens will take the reins as the school district's next superintendent, when Superintendent Jack Barshinger retires from the post he has held for the past seven years.
Hichens, 44, who has been Batavia High School's principal since 2009, first joined the district in 1994 as a math teacher at Batavia High School. She lives in Naperville with her husband, Matt, and their two children, Emma, 16, and Owen, 14.
Reporter Eric Schelkopf asked Hichens about how she is preparing for her new duties:
What challenges do you see in your new job?
"I think any district in Illinois has the challenge of student achievement and closing the gap between the different student groups. Shifting pension costs and other state mandates will also be issues.
We're still trying to provide a value to taxpayers. We've been able to do a nice job of keeping our costs steady. That's the piece we can control."
What are your goals for the district?
"We're headed in the right direction. We want to continue to look at what students do in real time. What did the kids learn, and what can we do tomorrow to make sure they learned it. We want to look at real time results, instead of waiting until the end of the school year."
Several school board members are not running for re-election in April, including School Board President Ron Link, Jack Hinterlong and Joe Purpura. How will that affect the transition?
"That will be a challenge. There's going to be a learning curve for all of us."
You oversaw the completion of Batavia High School's expansion project. What has been the biggest impact of the project's completion?
"We have a lot of Bulldog pride in the community. That really highlighted how much people have pride in their school. Now we have the facility that matches how they feel."
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