The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

Dr. Koulentes appointed new Assistant Superintendant of Teaching and Learning


On Feb. 22, Dr. Thomas Koulentes, principal of Libertyville High School, announced that he would be stepping down from his role to become the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for District 128 beginning July 1, 2024. He was appointed by District Superintendent, Dr. Denise Herrmann. 

Koulentes said he is very excited to take on the role because it will allow him to work with teachers to design innovative approaches to classroom instruction.

In an email response to TSP reporters, he wrote, “I believe our approaches to teaching high school students needs to constantly evolve in order to meet the needs of students as they enter the world of the mid-21st century, and this position will allow me to work both with students and staff at LHS, VHHS and Transition Pathways to help find ways to do that.” 

Prior to his role as Principal of Libertyville High School, Koulentes worked at Highland Park High School. During his time at HPHS, he coached wrestling and softball, served as English Learner/Bilingual Program Department Chair, Assistant Principal, and Principal. 

While living in Costa Rica from 2001 to 2002, Koulentes designed a course for HPHS students to learn Spanish, Latin American History, and rainforest ecology. He said it developed his love for travel education programs. 

As Principal of Highland Park High School, he advocated a Dual Language approach to school: students could take academic classes in both English and Spanish. 

He took on the role as Principal of LHS in 2017.

Assistant Superintendent, Briant Kelly, said the District is looking forward to gaining from Koulentes’ expertise and experience. 

“We’re excited that he can bring those talents and passion for education to all of our students in the district,” said Kelly.

Kelly continued to explain how Koulentes is well-suited for this position.  

“His ability to have people come together and work on committees and process through developing our curriculum…[Koulentes] will be instrumental in helping develop that professional learning,” Kelly said.

This administrative change follows the Feb. 12 resignation of former Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Dr. Yesenia Sánchez. According to documents obtained through a FOIA request, her resignation will be effective June 30, 2024. 

As per the Separation Agreement between Sánchez and District 128, Sánchez will receive her full salary and benefits through June 30. She will be paid $211,000 for the 2023-2024 contract year. 

On Jan. 22, 2024, retired Northbrook/Glenview (District 30) Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley became the Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. He previously worked with Herrmann at St. Charles High School.

Wegley is working part-time at a rate of $850 per day, 3-4 days per week, until Koulentes takes on the position next contract year.