Indian Prairie Elementary Schools Chief to Focus on Secondary Education

Article excerpt

While the Indian Prairie school system has been brimming with elementary students, Howard Crouse has been a primary force in making sure the district has enough classrooms, resources and teachers to educate them all.

Now, as the district's booming population is graduating into the middle schools and high schools, the Indian Prairie Unit District 204 administrator will be moving into the upper grades with them.

Crouse, who currently oversees elementary school operations, will be shifting his focus at the end of the school year when he becomes the district's associate superintendent for secondary education. The school board on Monday is expected to approve his appointment.

"Howie's been with us for a long, long time. We think very highly of him," board member Mark Metzger said. "He's energetic and anything he's excited about, he gets us excited about."

For 13 years, Crouse has been charged up about guiding District 204 though its growing pains.

For much of his tenure, the district has been the fastest- growing system in the state. When he took the post, the district had about 2,000 children in its elementary schools. Today it has about 11,800 students in elementary classes.

Crouse has been at the forefront of District 204's efforts to keep up with the growth. He's had a hand in the long-range planning and serves as a liaison between the district and the city of Naperville, voicing the school system's interests and concerns on development issues.

He also has facilitated parent committees that planned and campaigned for tax increases that have allowed the district to build and equip new schools. He's at the helm of committees designing tax increase requests for both construction and for daily classroom expenses.

In his new role, Crouse will be able to continue helping the district through its growth spurt. …