At its Jan. 4, 2021, special meeting, the Community High School District 128 Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring and contract of Dr. Denise Herrmann as the 5th D128 Superintendent effective July 1, 2021.
“We’re thrilled to announce Denise Herrmann as our next superintendent,” said D128 Board of Education President Pat Groody. “Her past experiences at some of the nation’s finest schools combined with her enthusiasm, outstanding leadership qualities and passion for educating students make her a great person to lead our district forward and to build upon the legacies of our two outstanding high schools.”
Former D128 superintendent Dave Clough and former New Trier D202 superintendent Linda Yonke facilitated the search process. Dr. Herrmann was selected from a national pool of 35 candidates and 3 outstanding finalists. Along with the D128 Board, administrators, teachers and support staff, and community members were involved in the interview process and focus groups as part of the selection process. Retiring Superintendent Dr. Prentiss Lea noted, “It is no surprise that the collective work and wisdom of the Board and interview process participants has led to an excellent outcome. Dr. Herrmann is a gifted and proven education leader and educator, and she is absolutely the right person to lead and work with the D128 family to take the district to the next level.”
"I am both excited and honored to join the District 128 Community High School District and the Libertyville and Vernon Hills communities,” said Herrmann. “I look forward to the opportunity to lead D128 and to become an active member of the community. Together, I know we will accomplish great things and surpass expectations for ALL of our students. I truly believe the best is yet to come.”
Herrmann currently serves as Associate Superintendent for Learning and Teaching in St. Charles, IL CUSD 303. She began her career in D303 as a chemistry teacher, science department chair, and assistant principal from 1991-2006. Prior to returning to the midwest in summer 2020, she served as Superintendent of Roseville Joint Union High School District in Roseville, CA. There she oversaw the education of 10,500 students in 5 comprehensive high schools, one alternative, one independent/online, and one adult school. She also served as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at Fremont Unified School District in Fremont, CA. In that role, she oversaw the teaching and learning of 36,000 students across 42 sites. Previously, she served as Principal of Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA where she integrated social-emotional learning into school practices to support the school community and improve student wellness. She also served as Principal of Middleton High School in Middleton, WI, from 2006 -2014. She is passionate about equity, innovation, and wellness.
Herrmann earned her BS in Chemistry, MS in Analytical Chemistry, and Doctorate in Education Administration and Curriculum Leadership from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Likewise, she received her Superintendent’s Certificate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
She has two daughters and eight grandchildren and is thrilled to be back in Illinois to spend more time with family and friends.