New Prospect High Principal 'Thrilled and Humbled'

Article excerpt

Byline: Erin Holmes Daily Herald Staff Writer

Kurt Laakso actually is a Massachusetts man - a native of the East Coast lured to the Midwest, and specifically the Northwest suburbs, years ago by a friend who happened to be a Northwest Suburban High School District 214 alum.

His next big move won't mean quite so much mileage.

But it still will be big.

Laakso, an Elk Grove High division head, will take over this summer as the new principal of Prospect High - replacing current leader Karen Rogers when she steps down June 30.

The Harvard graduate, who speaks conversational Spanish - about 6 percent of Prospect teens are Hispanic, according to the most recent state data available - is on paper an accomplished academic, with several publications and much research already under his belt.

That should bode well at the home of the Knights, where officials report groups of staff, parents and teens listed a strong academic background as a key thing they wanted in a new leader. They also requested someone who could push the already strong school to higher academic heights.

District 214 Superintendent Dave Schuler, minutes after the school board's appointment of Laakso, said the Massachusetts native surely is a perfect fit. …