Laase to retire
 director’s post 
in District 51

Andrew Laase, School District 51’s executive director of academic achievement in elementary schools for the past five years, is stepping down from his job June 21.

District 51 Priority Schools Director Lesley Rose will take his place starting July 1. A replacement for Rose’s soon-to-be former position is expected to be approved soon by the District 51 Board of Education.

Laase, 52, said he has no immediate plans after 22 years with the school district as an assistant principal, principal and executive. He said he had been thinking about taking time to “decompress” for the past year or so and decided this winter to retire from the district after 31 years in education. He said he solidified the decision in late January or early February after his sister-in-law asked him about something that will take place during the 2013-14 school year. “It just came out; I said I wouldn’t be here for that because I was retiring,” he said.

Laase said he may begin looking for his next job no sooner than Sept. 1. He said he will likely stay in education but do something that puts him closer to the classroom than his current job. He said he feels good about leaving his duties in Rose’s hands.

“I’ve never stayed in one position longer than five years and I’m at that point here,” he said. “I’m comfortable retiring because Lesley’s here and I have a lot of faith in her leadership.”

Rose, who worked as Laase’s assistant director of elementary schools until her title changed in district shuffling last year, said “he has been an amazing partner for five years.” She said she looks forward to carrying on things the two have worked on together. She hopes to eventually expand into all elementary schools a program that will debut this fall in the district’s Title I elementary schools. The program will place at least one master teacher in each of the Title I schools who will have the sole job of coaching other teachers on instruction.


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