New Principal's Bilingualism Part of Welcome Party
Larson, Kristin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Kristin Larson Daily Herald Staff Writer
As Woodland Middle School in Gurnee approaches its second year in business, Steve Hamlin looks forward to being the second principal in office.
For Hamlin, the former assistant principal at Conant High School in the Palatine-Schaumburg Township District 211, the largest high school district in the state, being principal is "a dream come true."
And he's equally enthused about overseeing one of the largest, most high-tech schools in the state.
"Before I applied to Woodland, I did a little investigating," says Hamlin, 36, whose background is in bilingual education and Spanish. "And I could see very common similarities in terms of not only accepting individual differences but celebrating them."
Similarly, Hamlin believes it was those reasons - common philosophies and open-mindedness - that earned him the job.
Board member Sheila Weber, who was on the principal interviewing committee, agrees.
"We went through a rigorous process to hire him, so we were very, very thorough to get a whole cross-section of peoples' impressions of him," she said. "I think he brings great strengths - he's a take-charge individual, honest and open-minded. He has the drive to make this school what it can be."
For now, Hamlin's goals include hiring staff members for next year and getting to know the faculty, staff and school community.
One way he welcomes people is through his voice mail, which is in English - and Spanish.
"If I knew more languages, I'd put them on there as well," he says. …