Anderson excited to lead ‘the best school in the district and the state’


Colin Boyle

Ms. Anderson was chosen as principal by Forrest Claypool after the LSC was unable to decide on a candidate. This was announced Sept. 17 during 4th period.

By Alina Panek

A large wooden door with a cloudy window framed in an elegant border has the word “PRINCIPAL” on the door. Inside, the room is large, with gold decorations hanging from the ceiling, mostly stars — fitting for a school that counts “Shoot for the stars” as one of its mottos. As I walk in, Ms. Anderson greets me by name. This immediately brings back one of the main points that she made as principal candidate — she is already familiar with Lane and loves it here.

Principal selection was a long and tedious process. After Dr. Dignam announced his resignation in February, the Local School Council (LSC) deliberated multiple times, even calling an emergency meeting on Aug. 30 before they decided Sept. 10 to let the CEO of Chicago’s Board of Education, Forrest Claypool, choose Lane’s next principal. At the Sept. 10 LSC meeting, there were not seven votes for either candidate, which is the number of votes needed to extend an offer. She added that working with teachers and getting their opinions and suggestions improves of a contract to the winning candidate.

On Sept. 17, during fourth period, it was announced over the intercom that Ms. Anderson had been selected as Lane’s principal. It was a noticeably lighter atmosphere, especially since Mr. Ara played “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus after school, according to Bhavin Gandhi, Div. 667.

After student teaching at Lane in 2006, Anderson (formerly Ms. Beck) was hired as a biology and genetics teacher.

She said there have been some significant changes since she first started here.

“Students are allowed more college-level or college prep classes,” Anderson said. “We’ve also really taken strides with what is trending for education, really focusing on STEM education, technology — everything that makes this school great.”

She added that working with teachers and getting their opinions and suggestions improves classroom experiences and Lane as a whole.

Lane is a school for traditions, and when the Academic Center (Lane’s 7th and 8th grade) celebrated its one year anniversary in 2012, administration thought of a new tradition: Camp Duncan.

Anderson beams as she recalls the experience.

“Here we are in an entirely different setting — we’re getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, we’re dancing at the bonfire,” Anderson said. “We’re going to camp, something that we did when we were younger — we’re eating camp food, sleep-
ing in bunks. It was just a really cool experience, to really get to know the students and the teachers. It’s something every LTAC class has been able to do except for the very first one.”

As Anderson transitions to her new position as head of administration, she will never forget Camp Duncan, but she must delegate many of her old responsibilities as assistant principal to her other assistant principals as she gains new responsibilities.

Ms. Hildebrandt, Lane’s data assessment coordinator, will take on leadership of the Advanced Placement program, with the administrative support of Ms. Hanly, assistant principal.

Ms. Lain is Lane’s Academic Center coordinator, with Ms. Hanly also providing administrative support.

But Anderson will still be in charge of managing the science department and the budget.

“Of course I’ll be involved with all of the different areas to some capacity, but in order to make sure, when I’m taking on these new roles these are administrators that can support these different programs,” Anderson said.

While principal is a huge job at a selective enrollment school of 4,200 students, Anderson said she is excited to lead “the best school in the district and the state.”