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Smith named Sandburg Principal

Dr. Derrick SmithThe High School District 230 School Board unanimously approved the hiring of Dr. Derrick Smith as Principal of Sandburg High School beginning on July 1, 2021.

“The School Board looks forward to seeing Dr. Smith’s passion for student achievement and connection shine in his new role at Sandburg,” said School Board President Tony Serratore. “He is a champion for staff and student excellence and the important relationships that make the learning experience exceptional.”

“As we look towards the future, I am excited for the opportunity to have Dr. Derrick Smith lead at Carl Sandburg High School,” said Dr. Bob Nolting, incoming Superintendent. “Derrick is an incredibly brilliant individual who believes in the power of impacting students intellectually and emotionally. I know Derrick to be strong in conviction and collaborative in his approach to make positive change.”

Smith’s ties to Sandburg High School go back to his days as a student there.

“Dr. Smith bleeds blue and gold - as a student, teacher, sponsor, coach, and administrator,” said Nolting. “I believe it is very important to have a principal who is all in with the kids, parents, and community. Derrick most certainly is.”

Upon graduation from Sandburg High School, Smith attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism. He went on to earn a Master of Education Degree in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from St. Xavier University.

He completed doctoral coursework in Literacy, Language and Culture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He recently completed a Doctorate in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the influence of Advanced Placement coursework on students’ college-readiness achievement.

Smith joined the District 230 family as a staff member in 2005 as an English teacher. He later served as Division Chair for English and Music and has been Associate Principal of Instruction since 2014.

“I know the Sandburg student, staff, and parent community can benefit from someone who truly believes in the power of collaboration, community, and communication,” said Nolting. “Derrick Smith will bring the best out of every Eagle."