Board appoints Justin Sisul to assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction position

Justin-SisulThe Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Board of Education approved on Feb. 27 the appointment of Justin Sisul as the District’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, effective July 1, 2017.

“We interviewed several impressive candidates for this position, yet Mr. Sisul clearly stood out as the most qualified,” said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli. “Throughout the process, interview teams shared that they were especially impressed by Mr. Sisul’s tenacious support for student learning and the professional growth of teachers, his knowledge of curriculum development, his collaborative leadership style, his clear and articulate communication style, and his determination to always do what is best for students. Mr. Sisul brings to his new role a wealth of knowledge, experience, passion and commitment to educational excellence, and I am confident that he will continue to serve District 58 with distinction as assistant superintendent.”

Sisul has worked in District 58 for more than 15 years. He currently serves as the principal of Pierce Downer School. In this role, he has collaboratively developed, implemented and maintained a vision for high student achievement. He provides consistent opportunities for differentiated staff development to enhance instruction, and he nurtures strong relationships with students, staff and parents.

“Justin is a wonderful and positive leader for our school community. Pierce Downer’s PTA has a very close and collaborative relationship with Justin as he views the PTA as an important partner,” said a Pierce Downer parent in a letter of recommendation. “Justin is very knowledgeable of the District’s curriculum and decision-making process. As a PTA we were frequently working with Justin and the teaching staff to enhance curriculum resources. Justin has always sought input from teachers and staff before providing a recommendation to the PTA.”

Several staff members echoed this sentiment, adding how Sisul has helped them grow as an educator.

“Mr. Sisul inspires his staff to do more and stretch themselves to grow in their teaching practice. He does this by leading by example and by asking the ‘what if’ questions. He makes personal connections with his staff that allow him to better support their aspirations and needs,” said a Pierce Downer teacher in a letter of recommendation. “Mr. Sisul is driven by the desire to do what is best for all students. He has a gift of communicating that is professional, yet personal. His communication style leads to positive relationships, filled with mutual respect, that initiates doing what is best for kids.”

Previously, Sisul served as an assistant principal and administrative intern at Lester School and as a music teacher and choir director at Herrick Middle School. Sisul has also contributed tremendously to District 58’s curriculum committees, serving as the co-chair of the District 58 Social-Emotional Learning Committee, Gifted Committee, Report Card Committee (current) and Science Fair Committee (current). He has also participated on the District’s Exploratory Curriculum Committee, Writing Curriculum Committee, Joint Committee for Student Growth (current) and the Meet and Confer Strategic Plan Committee (current).

As a District 58 teacher, Sisul received the Downers Grove Elementary Education Association’s 2006 District 58 Teacher of the Year Award and the IEA Stalwart Award.

Sisul earned his master of arts in educational leadership from Concordia University and his bachelor of music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is pursuing his doctor of education from Aurora University and anticipates receiving this degree in May 2019.

“District 58 is my home and the home of an outstanding community of teachers, administrators and parents who pursue excellence through collaboration and dedication,” Sisul said. “As we take our District’s next steps together, we will collectively provide each child with the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe, supportive environment.  I am humbled and honored by the confidence placed in me and thrilled to serve our District in this new role.

Outside of District 58, Sisul serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Music Education Association as president of their Music Educator Development Division. Sisul and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Downers Grove. Two of their three children attend District 58 schools, with their youngest set to join in the fall of 2017.

Sisul will replace current Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Matt Rich, who has accepted a superintendent position at Winfield School District 34. Dr. Rich has served District 58 for five years.

“On behalf of the District 58 community, I thank Dr. Rich for his dedication and considerable contributions to our District’s mission, and I wish him much success in his new and much deserved role as a superintendent,” Dr. Cremascoli said.

Media inquiries or requests for more information may be directed to Megan Hewitt, community relations coordinator, at 630-719-5805 or mhewitt@dg58.org.