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At its May 23, 2017 meeting, the Elmhurst School District 205 Board of Education voted unanimously to approve Dr. Christina Podraza as the new assistant principal at Hawthorne and Lincoln elementary schools, effective August 1, 2017 with a salary of $91,573. (See related news item on the District 205 homepage.) She replaces Tim Riordan, who was recently confirmed as the new principal of Hawthorne.

Dr. Podraza comes to Elmhurst from Naperville District 203, where she has served as the Learning Support Coach for Mill Street Elementary School since 2012. There she played an integral role in adoption and implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). She served on the School Improvement Team and was a member of the District 203 Service Delivery Design Committee and the Science Curriculum Committee.

“I am beyond thrilled to be a part of Elmhurst Community Unit District 205! I am looking forward to getting to know the Hawthorne and Lincoln staff, students and families and can’t wait to start my work as assistant principal. I hope that my passion for student engagement and instructional coaching background will be an asset to both buildings,” said Dr. Podraza.

Prior to her tenure in District 203, she was a fifth grade teacher at Schiesher Elementary School in Lisle for four years. There she developed multiple assessments aligned to Common Core, designed authentic, interactive programs which incorporated technology to motivate student learning. She used both qualitative and quantitative data to make decisions regarding curricular planning.

Dr. Podraza was also a classroom teacher in Bensenville District 2, in East Aurora District 131 and served as a long-term sub and reading improvement assistant at Armstrong School in Hoffman Estates.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Monmouth College (1999), her master’s in Elementary Education from DePaul University (2003) and her doctorate in Educational Leadership & Organizational Change from Roosevelt University (2014).

"I am excited that Christina is joining District 205. Her instructional knowledge, professional development experience and her ability to facilitate PLCs is timely and will help our staff provide exceptional learning experiences to our students,” said Riordan.

“Having Christina join the Lincoln and Hawthorne teams excites me! I am inspired by her energy, passion, and instructional expertise and look forward to working with her to support students, families, and staff,” said Jennifer Barnabee, who will be the new Lincoln Elementary School principal for 2017-18.


Elmhurst District 205 is thrilled to welcome Dr. Bill Daggett of the International Center for Leadership in Education to the community on Monday, August 14. In the afternoon, Dr. Daggett will be the keynote speaker at our opening faculty meeting. That evening, we cordially invite all local parents, community members, school board members, business and community leaders, legislators, and area educators to share with us a unique and exciting opportunity to experience his important message first hand. The festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the York High School Commons.

Dr. Daggett will discuss the concepts of rigor, relevance and relationships and share some important concepts about his organization's Rigor and Relevance Framework. Most importantly, attendees will be challenged to think about the role of public education as it relates to this country's future and the world economy.  I predict that if you are able to join us, you will never think about "school" the same way again.

Clear your calendars now!  I hope to see you then!

Dr. David Moyer

Facebook Event

Dr. Bill Daggett is the Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education. He has collaborated with education ministries in several countries, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Governors Association. Dr. Daggett’s System for Effective Instruction and Rigor and Relevance Framework have helped thousands of school districts throughout the country improve learning for students.


Friday, May 12th, began as usual for students and staff of Elmhurst District 205 schools, until District 205 Foundation Board members began paying surprise visits to extraordinary teachers who were awarded the Thiems Educational Grants they had applied for last semester. Throughout the day, several teams of Foundation Directors visited all thirteen schools from Madison Early Childhood Center to York High School with bells and balloons awarding grants to happy teachers and excited students.

A total of 25 grants worth $53,827 were awarded this year for implementation next academic year. The grant program is named after former District 205 Superintendent Dr. Russell Thiems, who was instrumental in in the formation of the Foundation for Educational Excellence, which has provided close to $1.5 million dollars in Thiems Grants to District 205 since 1989.

“The Foundation recently funded $23,000 in literacy resources,” said Brian Bresnahan, Foundation Chairperson, “and a large amount of 2017 grant dollars support science and technology that helps teachers deliver STEM-related curriculum.”

One highlight for this year is the awarding of several grants to help create Makerspaces at every elementary school library and two areas (Library and Lincoln Lab) at York High School. A makerspace is a collaborative workspace for making, learning, exploring and sharing. Spaces such as these support future-ready learning and allow teachers and students to embed creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration in learning experiences.

“Our donors have helped us enhance all curricular areas for students, including the arts and physical education,” commented Foundation Executive Director Lisa Fanelli, “and recently our focus has been on providing future-ready learning opportunities for students.”

Generous attendees at this year’s Foundation Gala, held in March, raised $106,000 that will go a long way in supporting Foundation programs. Recently funded enhancements include, three future- ready model classrooms in three different schools, Google Expedition Kits that bring the world to elementary classrooms through virtual field trips, Kano Kits that allow middle school students to build and program their own computer, and Dano App Crayons for use with iPads to help preschoolers learn to write.

In addition to the grants, the Foundation supports instructional programs, community programs and partnerships, as well as District initiatives, bringing the total over $2.7 million raised and funded. To make a donation, and for a complete list of 2017 grants, including photographs of the award day, please visit


Pursuant to Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 122-50-4 Student Temporary Records of students who have graduated, transferred or permanently withdrawn from Elmhurst CUSD 205 on or before June 5, 2012 will be destroyed no earlier than June 6, 2017.


Student Temporary Records are all information contained in a school student record but not contained in the student permanent record.  Such information may include family background information, intelligence test scores, aptitude test scores, psychological and personality test results, teacher evaluations, and other information of clear relevance to the education of the student, all subject to regulations of the State Board.  The information shall include information provided under Section 8.6 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.  In addition, the student temporary record shall include information regarding serious disciplinary infractions that resulted in expulsion, suspension, or the imposition of punishment or sanction.  For purposes of this provision, serious disciplinary infractions means:  infractions involving drugs, weapons, or bodily harm to another.


The school district shall maintain student temporary records and the information contained in those records for not less than 5 years after the student has transferred, graduated, or otherwise withdrawn from the school.


Persons who are the natural parent of the student or other persons who have the primary responsibility for the care and upbringing of the student shall be given an opportunity to copy the record and information proposed to be destroyed or deleted.   Eligible persons who wish to inspect records scheduled for destruction on June 6, 2017 can call the Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Student Services Department at 630-617-2490.


York High School Drama alumni will return to the York Stage for this one night only musical, Godspell, set for Friday, June 9 in York's Baker Auditorium. Tickets went on sale May 15 at Heading the cast are Michael St. Peter (BA, Vocal Performance, Juilliard) and James Mueller (BA, Dance, Luther) as Jesus and Judas.

The cast is rounded out with other phenomenal talent, including Kelsey Roberts (Syracuse University, BFA Musical Theatre), Grace Sopko (Drake University, Musical Theatre), Helen Knudsen ( Roosevelt University, BA Vocal Performance),  Darcy Kummerow (Ballstate University, Dance) Zachary Triska (College-Conservatory of Music,  University of Cincinatti, Musical Theatre), Chris Knudsen (Point Park University, Musical Theatre), Laura Thoresen (Roosevelt University, Musical Theatre), Eddie Maciejewski (Oklahoma University, Musical Theatre), Jackie Salgado (Illinois Wesleyan, Musical Theatre),  Kaitlin Cadagin and Brian Kulaga (Illinois State University), and Krissy Delahanty (Marymount Manhattan, Stage Management).

The York Drama Alumni Program was started to support our young actors who are pursuing a career in the arts. In a community that supports the arts to the fullest, it has been a spectacular and enriching opportunity for all involved.

James Mueller, as Judas, states “This program and the people in it have had a huge impact on me as an artist and as a person. Godspell is a show about building community. Through storytelling, the characters create a singular group identity through which they find compassion, support, and most importantly love. By nurturing these characteristics within each other we as the audience begin to see the characters change, grow, and let their light shine. This is also true of the Elmhurst community. We are all so fortunate and to be a part of it."


Two new principals were confirmed at tonight’s meeting of the District 205 Board of Education. Heidi Thomas will replace Field Elementary School Principal Tammy Poole, who has taken a job in another district. Tim Riordan will replace Hawthorne Elementary School Principal Nikki Tammaru, who was recently tapped to become the District’s new Director of Literacy. Mr. Riordan has served as the Assistant Principal at both Hawthorne and Lincoln schools this year.


A second career educator, Mr. Riordan came to Elmhurst District 205 last year from East Maine School District 63, where he taught at Melzer Elementary School for four years. He also served as an administrative intern and the facilitator of Melzer’s Building Leadership Team from 2014-2016, leading teacher teams in the use of qualitative and quantitative data to monitor and support the academic, social and emotional growth of students.


“I have enjoyed my first year at Hawthorne, and I am fortunate that I get to continue to work with a dedicated staff, amazing students, and supportive families. We made great progress this year, and I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure the progress continues,” said Mr. Riordan.


"When we hired Tim, we knew he would be a good principal someday, and we are glad that day is here. He has been a leader in our Eureka Math implementation across the District, has excellent knowledge of the research, and his expertise with the Danielson model [The Framework for Teaching] has really helped support dialogue with teachers about high-quality professional practice,” said Superintendent Dr. David Moyer.


Mr. Riordan holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Northern Illinois University (2011) and a Master’s in Education Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (2016). He is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


An assistant principal at Rupley Elementary School in Elk Grove Village Community Consolidated District 59 for three years, Ms. Thomas was a classroom teacher at Forest View Elementary School in District 59 for ten years, where she also served as an instructional resource teacher on the Math Resource and Talent Development team for one year. In addition, she was a member of the CCSD59 Technology Cadre for two years. She also taught fifth grade at Thompson Elementary School (Lake Villa School District 41) from 2001-2004.


Of her new position, Ms. Thomas said, “I am honored to be chosen as the Principal of Field Elementary School. I look forward to collaborating with the talented and committed staff, supportive parents, and empowering our students for success as we keep our mission at the forefront of all we do.”


She holds a degree in elementary education from Illinois State University (2001), a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Chicago’s Concordia University (2007), as well as a Master’s degree in School Leadership from Concordia (2011).


"Heidi has excellent knowledge of curriculum and instruction and a passion for ensuring that students are engaged in their learning. She is on the front end of the curve as it relates to technology. She will certainly be an excellent addition to our leadership team. She is clearly ready to be a principal," said Dr. Moyer.


The last day of school was approved at the April 25 Board of Education meeting. Due to a mild winter, and no other weather-related incidents, the five emergency days which are built into the school calendar, have not been used. Below are the student dismissal dates and times. The 2016-17 End-of-Year Calendar contains helpful information about final exams and 8th grade promotion times.

May 25 - Last day of attendance for York High School freshmen, sophomores and juniors at the conclusion of exams.

May 31 - Last day of attendance for Early Childhood and AM/PM kindergarten students. Last day of attendance for 8th grade students.

June 1 - Last day of school for grades 1-5; early dismissal at 11:15 AM. Last day of school for grades 6 and 7; early dismissal at 11:35 AM.


On Tuesday, April 25, the District 205 Board of Education voted unanimously (7-0) to approve the employment of current Hawthorne Elementary School Principal Nikki Tammaru as the new District 205 Director of Literacy, effective July 1, 2017.

Dr. Mary Henderson-Baum, Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Teaching said, “Ms. Tammaru has a strong background in both literacy and leadership. Her passion for literacy is evident in her daily work. Her ability to plan and lead professional learning will allow us to fully support our teachers at all levels in our continued work to improve instruction.”

Ms. Tammaru holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston (1995) and a master’s degree in reading (2001) and in administration (2006) from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.

Prior to coming to District 205 in 2011, Ms. Tammaru served as Assistant Principal of the Americana Intermediate School in Glendale Heights’ Queen Bee District 16 for three years. From 2000 to 2007, she was a reading specialist and literacy coordinator for Lombard Elementary District 44 for one year; she worked in Aurora West District 129 as a reading specialist for four years. Previous to that, she was a third and fifth grade classroom teacher for four years in Lyons Elementary District 103, where she also served as a Title I teacher.

Her previous experience includes serving as a team leader and PBIS “Star School” recipient; designing and implementing school-wide guided reading for a building of 700 students; overseeing the collection and analysis of all literacy data to provide interventions for students in three tier levels; and providing on-going differentiated staff development.

At the Board meeting held on April 11, Dave Beedy was elevated from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Coordinator to the position of Director of STEM Education. “His leadership, initiative, and the quality of his work has been outstanding,” noted Dr. Moyer.

“Mr. Beedy is an accomplished leader who, most recently, has led the curriculum development team for our revised math curriculum. He is highly collaborative, seeks to build consensus and has worked to open access to challenging curriculum for all learners. He is consistently recognized by teachers in our district for his support, communication, and responsiveness to teacher questions and concerns.”

Prior to joining the Elmhurst team in July of 2014, Mr. Beedy served as Assistant Principal at Perspectives Charter School in Chicago. He was also the Science and Technology Instructional Leader there, and previously worked for Lake Forest and New Trier High Schools as a science teacher and Science Olympiad head coach.

Mr. Beedy was one of 41 educators chosen by the State Board of Education to develop a model science curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are connected to the Common Core Literacy and Math standards. He holds a master’s degree in Earth Science Education from the University of Illinois (2002), and a Type 75 in Educational Leadership from DePaul University (2010).

Superintendent Dr. Dave Moyer made the recommendation to change the District STEM Coordinator and Literacy Coordinator positions to Director of STEM Education and Director of Literacy. To reflect Administrative Cabinet status, current Directors’ titles will be changed to Executive Director with no increased compensation. This takes effect July 1, 2017.

The new Directors will facilitate parent education, lead professional learning, supervise department chairs, other leaders and committee work, actively plan and coordinate curriculum development work, with a focus on interdisciplinary units of instruction, and play a more prominent role in the assessment development work in the District, which must be a top priority for the foreseeable future. As the District moves to more program evaluation, the Directors will support the Executive Director for Research and Program Analysis, Charles Sprandel, in this area.

Superintendent Moyer noted that “these recommendations are designed to strengthen the leadership and systematic coordination of District operations. As opportunities are presented, the Elmhurst District 205 Administration will continue to look for ways to improve its effectiveness.


York Community High School ranked 18th in Illinois among U.S. News and World Report's Best High Schools list released April 25, 2017. York HS also ranked #687 in the National Rankings and earned a silver medal. Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. Read more about this year's ranking methodology.

Illinois has many schools ranked in 2017 among U.S. News Best High Schools, including 14 gold medal schools, 67 silver medal schools and 114 bronze medal schools. The award distribution is as follows:

Gold 2.4%
Silver 10.3%
Bronze 16.8%
No Medal 70.5%
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Mission Statement

The mission of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 is to meet the educational needs of all students, challenging each to his or her full potential and ensuring a foundation for future success in life.

About Us

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 currently serves more than 8,000 students who reside primarily in the City of Elmhurst and small portions of Oak Brook, Bensenville and Addison. Approximately 93 percent of students live in Elmhurst with the remainder living outside of the City, but within the District 205 boundaries.

Vision Statement

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 will be a national leader in educating children of all backgrounds and ability levels, promoting high individual student achievement. The district will incorporate student-centered decision-making, the highest academic standards, best practices in education, the highest caliber educational professionals, and leading edge resources to ensure an equitable education for all and success in a global society.