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Andy Anderson Named Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services


Andy Anderson, the rock-star former principal who led Conrady Junior High School through a period of transition and acquisition of two nationally-acclaimed awards, has been named Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services in North Palos School District 117. 


Mr. Anderson replaces Dr. Paula Coughlin who retired June 30 after more than 30 years in the district. In fact, it was Paula Coughlin whom Anderson replaced 10 years ago as Conrady principal.


Ms. Adrienne Pavek, who had served as assistant principal last year at Conrady, was named principal.


Mr. Anderson, who lives in St. John, Ind., hails from the eponymous Indiana town his forefathers founded more than 200 years ago that still bears his surname. He said in an interview when he was hired as principal that “I always place high expectations on myself.”


“I know this district has some high expectations of its own, he said at the time. “That’s one of the reasons this (principal) position is going to be a good fit.”


Well said Mr. Anderson. What a fit it has been. 


Mr. Anderson, who earned masters degrees in both administration and music, is in the final stages of earning a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Illinois University. 


During his tenure as principal, he has helped oversee more than $20 million in renovations to the school’s interior and exterior that have resulted in a noticeable improvement in culture and climate among the school’s 1,100 student body. 


As he brings his significant talents to the district level, Mr. Anderson said he is looking forward to his next challenge as assistant superintendent of pupil personnel services.


“I am grateful of the superintendent and the Board of Education in their confidence in me to take on my new role at the district level,” he said. “What I’m really looking forward to is establishing a shared vision and a set of systems in the PPS Department that will benefit staff and students like never before and capture the attention of others throughout the state and nation as a PPS model for student success”. Mr. Anderson is quick to point out the task is a team effort. 


He transitioned between the two roles during the 2018-2019 school year as he spent time both at Conrady and the district office. Through the district-wide interaction with PPS staff, Mr. Anderson is extremely confident in the team’s ability to embrace one of the district core values Focus on Results and Creating Value Broaden Your Definition of Winning


Two years earlier, Mr. Anderson guided Conrady to being of the highest-performing junior high schools in Illinois. One of his last acts as principal was conferring diplomas to one of the largest and one of the highest-performing classes in Conrady history. 


Mr. Anderson is a master motivator, a trait he honed while working for the Walt Disney Company. As an example, he cited his development of a community-changing vocal music program during his days as a classroom teacher when he grew a vocal program from 200 to more than 400 students within three years--nearly 50% of the student body in his classes! 


While leading Conrady to national prominence, he was named Illinois “Middle School Principal of the Year” by the Illinois Principals’ Association. 


He and his wife Ivonne are the parents of two daughters: Kailyda and Katiana.


Mr. Anderson