Highland Park, News

Township 113 promotes DEI leader to HPHS principal

The next era of leaders is set at Township High School District 113.

Incoming Superintendent Dr. Chala Holland was instrumental in selecting the next principal of Highland Park High School, Holly Fleischer, whose appointment to the role was approved by the School Board on April 9, according to a release from District 113.

Fleischer is currently the assistant principal of diversity, equity and inclusion at the school, and has worked with Highland Park High School for 21 years. She will take over as principal this summer upon the retirement of Deby Finn.

“I have a keen awareness of our many assets and the various ways we need to improve to serve our community better,” Fleischer said in a statement. “I am excited and humbled by the opportunity to contribute my skills and knowledge to this role in service of supporting and empowering all HPHS students and staff in our House on Vine.

“Together, we will work to build pathways that enable all students to reach their limitless potential, without sacrificing their authentic selves.”

Fleischer began at HPHS as an English teacher at various grade levels. She has also served as the director of a variety of programs and departments, including the Multi-Tiered System of Supports, a way to track and support student progress that she led for 10 years.

Prior to MTSS, Fleischer served in general and crisis counseling roles, where she worked with students and families from a variety of backgrounds. The release says she has also served in leadership roles in numerous other areas, including student clubs, co-curricular organizations and professional development opportunities for teachers.

“I am honored that Holly has agreed to serve in this role,” Holland said in a statement. “She is relentless in her drive as an educator, she is a mindful listener and reflective leader. Holly is action-oriented, using quantitative and qualitative data to inform her insights. Her commitment in service to students is inspiring.”

Fleischer holds degrees from Concordia University, National Louis University and Denison University. She lives in Deerfield with her husband and two young sons.

Fleischer will assume the position of principal at Highland Park High School on July 1.

After nearly two decades with the District 113, Finn will retire when her contract expires the end of June.

Finn began teaching at Deerfield High School in 1997 and became the school’s interim principal in 2018. A year later, the School Board removed Finn’s interim title and she has since held the position.

Finn stabilized a rotating chair in the principal’s office at Highland Park High School. She replaced Elizabeth Robertson, who left the high school in 2018 to take a position in district administration. Tom Koulentes served as principal before that, moving from HPHS to Libertyville High School in 2017. Brad Swanson was the principal of Highland Park High School from 2009 to 2014, when he moved to Glenbrook District 225.

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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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