Highland Park, News

District 113 superintendent to retire after school year; Next hire will be D113’s 8th leader since 2015

Township High School District is in the market for a new leader following the retirement announcement of Dr. Bruce Law, the district’s superintendent for the last four years.

Law publicly announced his retirement plans during the School Board’s Committee of the Whole session on Tuesday, Oct. 10, but said in his statement that he first informed the board in June.

“I have a job I love in a district I love … I have had a great board every year in District 113. It’s not you, it’s me,” Law said. “… It might seem I am retiring sooner than I should but it is time. My goal this year is do everything I can to make the next superintendent successful.”

Law came to D113 in 2019 from Hinsdale Township High School District 86, which comprises Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools in the western suburbs. He began working with D86 in 2010 and was superintendent from 2013 until his resignation in 2019, when he accepted the job in D113. Before D86, Law worked in administration for schools in Indiana and Chicago.

D113 hired Law in the hopes of stabilizing a rotating superintendent’s office. Law replaced interim superintendents Linda Yonke (former New Trier High School superintendent) and Ben Martindale, who were called in after the district forced out Chris Dignam in 2018.

Dignam, who was named superintendent in 2016, left amid a litany of staff complaints and was the subject of a separation agreement with the district in the middle of his five-year contract.

Prior to Dignam, the district had three superintendents in a two-year span, including one, Laurie Kimbrel, who was hired but requested out of her contract before she began.

With District 113, Law was in charge during an unprecedented period of challenge and tragedy, from the COVID disruptions that began in 2020 to the Highland Park shooting of 2022 and its everlasting impact.

School Board President Dan Struck emphasized that Law’s decision was not a request or suggestion of the board and said Law will be missed.

“We value Dr. Law’s grace under pressure,” Struck said. “We appreciate his patience, his intelligence, his commitment to this district’s students, his commitment to this district’s mission, his simple decency and generosity no matter the situation, his willingness to listen, his desire to be fair, and his dedication to equity and inclusion for all students.

” … No matter the challenge, Dr. Law has endeavored to further the core mission of DHS and HPHS: to cultivate passion, to unlock the potential, and to inspire excellence in every student, no matter who they are or where they come from.”   

The district now embarks on a search for its eighth superintendent — including three interim superintendents — in the last decade.

Struck said the board is on the path to finding a new leader and it will hold a special meeting on Oct. 18 to interview candidate-search firms and hopes to select a firm on Oct. 24.

“The District 113 School Board will act with alacrity and due deliberation to search for and hire a Superintendent who is passionate about District 113’s unwavering commitment to providing all students with opportunities to realize their unique potential through a rigorous and engaging curriculum, meaningful relationships, varied experiences, a positive school culture, and the cultivation of individual passion and resilience,” he said. “… HPHS and DHS share a proud tradition and we are committed to finding a leader who will build upon that tradition.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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