Education alumna to administer principal-preparation grant for East Aurora schools

Jun 10, 2014

North Central College education alumna Mavis DeMar ’79 has been named to a newly created administrative post in East Aurora School District 131.

DeMar was promoted from her position as principal of Hermes Elementary School in Aurora. In her new role she will oversee a collaborative program between East Aurora and North Central College to prepare future principals.

DeMar was principal at Hermes Elementary for seven years and previously taught elementary education for 22 years in Wheaton-based Community Unit School District 200. She also worked as an assistant principal and curriculum leader.

DeMar will coordinate the district’s participation with North Central College in the program known as Illinois Partnerships Advancing Rigorous Training, or IL-PART. The program is designed to prepare highly qualified principals for high-need districts and to develop helpful partnerships between university principal prep programs and school districts.

The East Aurora and North Central College partnership was one of three chosen from across the state to participate in the program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. East Aurora was awarded $480,000 in federal grant money to spend over five years on the administrative position.

Educators who choose to participate in the IL-PART project will be placed in a full-time internship for a semester in a district school, which will provide East Aurora with additional administrators at no cost to the district.

By participating in the program, the district hopes to create a pipeline of quality leaders for its schools. The program also will create a talent development strategy, which would help the district find principal candidates with high potential, a retention strategy for school leaders already performing well, and a succession plan to help with filling administrative vacancies, the Aurora Beacon News reported.

In her new role, DeMar will help place principal interns in East Aurora schools, coach principals who will serve as mentors for principals-in-training and collect data on the principal prep program.

The internship program is supposed to help meet new changes mandated by the state in principal preparation, as principal interns now have to show mastery of specific experiences, such as school improvement, teacher evaluations and complex system management.