Hey Glen Oaks, Meet Your New Principal!
Kristin Reingruber was a pretty talented athlete growing up in the north central, Illinois, town of Ladd, which was as famous for its Rip’s fried chicken as it was for its state championship football and volleyball teams.
Reingruber played softball, volleyball and ran track. She cultivated a lot of friendships along the way with teammates and coaches. And while she played volleyball through college at North Central, she always felt the calling to coach.
“I just loved coaching,” said Reingruber, who takes over this year as the new principal at Glen Oaks School. She replaces longtime Principal Gaylyn Pollard. “And coaching is teaching. So I guess it was a natural progression that I would become a teacher.”
Reingruber started in North Palos School District 117 more than 12 years ago as a technology information coordinator, where she supported teachers with bringing technology into the classrooms. “I would go in to Glen Oaks and help the teachers with technology integration,” she said. “Now I’m returning as principal. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be coming back.
“I know I have some big feet to fill (replacing Gaylyn),” Reingruber said. “What is most important to me is building relationships with staff and knowing their strengths in an effort to help them grow professionally.”
She spent four years assisting with technology, earning a masters’ degree from Loyola University in the discipline along the way. Reingruber spent the next eight years at Oak Ridge School where she worked four years as a team leader and the last four as assistant principal working with Principal Beth Reich.
“Beth is amazing and we worked so well together,” she said. “I learned a lot from her. I think what I learned most was collaboration, and the importance of working together for the betterment of the team.
Reingruber said her primary focus as principal will be to build relationships with her staff and get to know and understand them and their strengths while helping them grow professionally.
She said her technology background will help “get the most growth out of our students as possible.” “With technology, there is so much to learn and things are always growing.”
As she reflected on her new role, she realized how much her professional life has evolved. “I honestly thought I’d be in the classroom and teaching forever,” she said. “I love being with the kids and their families.
“But I’ll be doing that again here as principal,” Reingruber said.
She said she is excited to begin her new role as principal and wants her teachers and staff to know she will be there to support them. “I will be visible in the school,” she said. “I want to be where the learning is. I will be in the classrooms.”
Reingruber acknowledged there has been a lot of “movement” in the district. “The office staff will be new, the assistant principal will be new and the principal will be new,” she said. “My goal is to build new relationships and make people comfortable.
“I want people to be able to have open and honest conversations with me,” Reingruber said. “I encourage their feedback. It helps me grow and get better.”
Reingruber and her husband Mike have a son, Tyler, 4. The family lives in Brookfield.