A new school year always brings a fresh start, especially this year at Greenwood Elementary School where new principal Julie Smith will begin her first year with Woodstock Community Unit School District 200. Smith was most recently assistant principal at Spaulding School in Gurnee School District 56 where she previously was a behavior specialist and a fourth-grade teacher for 13 years. Smith was hired June 18 to replace Tom Wollpert who was chosen as facilitator for the District’s New Challenger Learning Center, which will be housed at Olson Elementary School.
“I have a lot of experience in the classroom and what I value, and where my career has taken me, is teaching. I’m a teacher at heart. In schools, it is our job to teach children, in every situation,” Smith said.
Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Illinois University in 1998 and earned a master’s in instruction and leadership from St Xavier University in 2002. She also obtained a master’s in principal preparation from Concordia University in 2016.
Superintendent Mike Moan said he’s excited about the level of experience that Smith brings to the position and believes she’ll be a great fit for Greenwood.
Smith said she’s enjoyed meeting other District 200 staff members and is excited about meeting Greenwood families and staff. She said she appreciates the small-town feel of the school.
“Everybody has been so welcoming. It’s a really nice community,” she said.
Smith said she’s learning the system, the community, and about the students. She will soon begin assessing how students’ academic needs are being met, Smith added.
“I’m big on individualizing learning — matching lessons to the student's needs. No two kids learn the same way,” she said.