Steve Nendza Approved As New Principal of Kerkstra Elementary

At the June 21, 2022 Board of Education Meeting, our Board voted unanimously to bring Mr. Nendza to District 142 and Kerkstra as an administrator and instructional leader.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Mr. Nendza, who spent 10 years as a Music Teacher and award-winning Band Director at Hille Middle School. Mr. Nendza, a longtime Oak Forest resident and respected District 142 teacher, is committed to the students and families of District 142. In Mr. Nendza's own words: "My continual focus is on implementing programs to benefit students."

Mr. Nendza comes to the role of Principal with over 20 years of educator experience. Most recently, Mr. Nendza served as Assistant Principal at Old Quarry Middle School in Lemont. During his three years as a school administrator in Lemont, Mr. Nendza grew as an educational leader. He developed and managed a variety of student programs, trained teachers in effective classroom management, took part in the teacher evaluation process, and focused his skills on school improvement and goal-setting.

Mr. Nendza holds a Bachelor and Master of Music Education from VanderCook University in Chicago. In 2019, Mr. Nendza earned a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University, including an Administrator Endorsement. Mr. Nendza is an active member of several professional associations including Illinois Principals Association, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Athletic Directors Association.

Mr. Nendza has spent his adult life serving our community, forming longtime relationships with area families, and volunteering his time in a variety of ways. Professionally, Mr. Nendza has grown over the years, earning additional degrees and developing himself as a school administrator. Mr. Nendza is a leader by design, hard work, and continual improvement.

Mr. Nendza's effectiveness as a school administrator is rooted in his many years teaching in the classroom. In Mr. Nendza's own words: "I will bring a leadership style to Kerkstra that focuses on supporting teachers to bring out the best in students."

District 142 is committed to ensuring continuity of service to our Kerkstra students, families, and teachers/staff members. Both Mr. Nendza and Mr. Kulik have met in person and developed a plan to ensure a smooth transition. We are proud of the excellent academic and instructional leadership already in place at Kerkstra. We sincerely wish Mr. Jeff Kulik the very best and thank him for over 15 years of service to District 142.

However, we are aware that change of any kind can be difficult, and generate concern and questions. Additional communication will be forthcoming to Kerkstra families and staff as we move forward with this change in leadership at Kerkstra.

In the mean time, don't be surprised if you see Mr. Nendza riding his bike past Kerkstra, as he is so excited to serve Kerkstra and the entire District 142 family/community.