On Monday, the school board officially approved Shanna M. Lewis as the new principal of North. She will start in the position on July 1.
Lewis currently works as the associate principal at Lyons Township High School at the campus for freshman and sophomore students.
This is her 28th year working in education, and she began teaching at the same high school that she graduated in Virginia, teaching US history. Lewis then went to Naperville North High School and later Lincoln and Madison Middle Schools.
Lewis also coached basketball, saying “that’s where I really started my passion for kids and being around kids. And one of the things I miss most about being out of the classroom is working with the kids. So I’m excited to work with kids at St. Charles North in a different capacity.”
Becoming a principal has always been a goal for Lewis, and she has a passion for making the high school experience the best it can be for all students.
Lewis wants to “make school a positive experience from both lenses: the kids that love it, keep continuing those things, but figuring out… some of the reasons why kids don’t and try to make that happen.”
Lewis was drawn to North because of things she had heard about the school from parents in the St. Charles community. Her two daughters participated in athletic programs here, and she got to know parents and students who went to North.
“Just talking to individual kids and parents, just about the pride they have for the school and the successes they had, it was just something that I really wanted to be a part of, to see how I could use my position to help, you know, continue some of those successes and look for new ones,” said Lewis.
As principal, Lewis wants to look back on this past year, and all the challenges that went along with it to see how students and teachers persevered, but also to see how to improve.
“I want to figure out what we’ve learned from this and how we can do things a little bit differently. It’s been hard for some kids, and I want to be able to support them. But I think we need to figure out how we can get kids excited, and teachers excited about learning in school again. And that’s really my number one goal is to figure out how to do that,” said Lewis.
In order for her to really determine what she can and will do to improve North, she emphasized her eagerness to listen to students, staff and community members.
“I want to make sure that everybody has a voice, and that they have an opportunity to feel as if they can share that voice. And we can listen to that to get a little bit better. And that goes for parents, students, staff, and that’s really just kind of the lens that I looked through when I was doing things while working to move forward,” said Lewis.
Lewis will begin on July 1 and is looking forward to her new position and being able to make a difference with students.
“Honestly, I am very excited. One of the things that is most important to me is student voice. And I think it’s important to make sure that we are listening to all voices and making sure that people are empowered to feel like their voice has value and that it matters,” said Lewis.