Glenbrook High School District #225 announced the hiring of Lauren Bonner, current assistant principal for student services at Loyola Academy, as Glenbrook North’s new associate principal for administrative services on April 27.
“[GBN’s reputation] was what put my foot in the door and piqued my interest,” said Bonner. “And then, the experience, the interviewing process was so amazing.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interviews in the hiring process were conducted over video calls using Google Hangouts, Bonner said.
“It really was an enlightening experience, an engaging experience, and I had a lot of fun doing the interviews … with all the people that I met along the way,” said Bonner. “So I’ve enjoyed it, and I can’t wait … to get in the building [and] start working with the team and start meeting kids.”
In her new role, Bonner said she will be working with the facilities department, safety and security, student activities, athletics and the deans’ office. Bonner plans on making sure she has opportunities to interact with students at GBN, whether through committees or just greeting students at school entrances.
“Another thing I’d love to do is just walk the building,” said Bonner. “I’m a big walker, … and so to take a break from that work is important to me and to be able to stand up and walk every aspect of [GBN].
“I think it’s another great way to have a social interaction. And … I’m that person that will go up to the table of students and ask what you’re reading or what you’re working on. I’m that annoying adult.”
Bonner considers interaction with students an important and invigorating aspect of her work in the field of education, she said. Outside of the school day, Bonner attended Loyola Academy events such as sporting competitions and theater productions to show her support for the student body. She often brought along her two children, one in second grade and one in third grade, to show them the result of a strong work ethic.
Prior to her current position at Loyola Academy, Bonner was a dean of the school, she said. In that position, Bonner spent every lunch period in the cafeteria with students.
“I was very active in conversing with the students,” said Bonner. “And really it was about rules enforcement, but it was [also] about creating a connection with students.”
Bonner has been communicating weekly with Jason Markey, current principal of East Leyden High School, she said. Markey was announced as GBN’s new principal on March 17. Bonner’s conversations with Markey and others who were involved in her interviewing process have helped her transition into her role at GBN despite the Illinois stay-at-home order.
“Mr. Markey is coming from outside the district, I’m coming from outside the district,” said Bonner. “We have a lot to learn. We both are humbled by that and we are both hungry to learn.”
Although she is eternally grateful for the 14 years of experience that Loyola Academy has provided her, she is excited to start her new job at GBN, Bonner said.
“I think the only way to grow is to become uncomfortable and to change and to see that opportunity when it arises,” said Bonner. “And so this opportunity at GBN is such a gift. So I’m excited to get my boots on the ground and start working with them.”