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Owens named new Director of Student Services

The District 204 Board of Education named Leslie Owens as the new Director of Student Services for Lyons Township High School.

Owens has been with District 204 for 15 years. Last school year, she served as the Division Chair for Student Services, and prior to that, she was the Special Education Assistant Division Chair for three years. As a Special Education Program Coordinator for eight years, she worked closely with students and families and served on the department leadership team, helping improve the efficiency of the department and implement professional learning for Special Education teams. She also worked as a School Psychologist at both the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education and Utica Community Schools.

As Director of Student Services, Owens will provide broad oversight in the areas of Counseling and Student Support Services, Special Education, English Language Learning, and Student Discipline. She says, “By coordinating efforts and the expertise of the educators within all areas of student services, we will be able to streamline our processes, address student needs earlier and more effectively, and ensure access for everyone.”

“Leslie is a proven educator. She is student-focused and an expert at team-building and building consensus. I have no doubt she will lead by example and work to serve our 4000+ students and their families effectively, efficiently and with compassion,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian Waterman.

“We know that many students learn differently and need different supports in order to be fully available for learning - whether those are social and emotional supports or differentiated academic experiences – so as the Director of Student Services, I will be working to ensure that we understand the specific needs of our student population and then how our staff can best be supported to meet those needs,” Owens added.

“LT is special to so many for so many reasons, but for me, it’s the tight-knit community that surrounds and supports our school, the absolute devotion staff have to making LT great for our students, and the fact that this is a professionally challenging and exciting place to work,” she said.

Owens received a Bachelor of Arts Psychology from the University of Michigan, a Specialist Degree in School Psychology from the University of Detroit-Mercy, and a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University-Chicago. She is currently working toward a Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership with Superintendent’s Endorsement also at Concordia University- Chicago. She will defend her dissertation, entitled Superintendents’ Understanding and Application of Evidence-Based Funding Principles into District and School Budget Decisions, this winter.