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District welcomes three new principals

Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 is excited to introduce three new school principals who are eager to begin the 2018-2019 school year. Dean Street Elementary School's Ryan Doyle, Northwood Middle School's Bethany Hall, and Woodstock High School's Art Vallicelli share a bit about themselves and their school communities in this Q&A. 


Dean Street Principal Ryan Doyle

      Dean Street Logo

Ryan Doyle
Principal, Dean Street Elementary School

Tell us about your education and career. 

I received my education from Eastern Illinois University where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in middle school education with a math concentration and a master’s in principal preparation from Concordia University. This is my ninth year in education and my first in District 200. I spent 6 years in District 47 in Crystal Lake teaching 7th grade math for 5 of those years and 8th grade math for one. I next served two years as an assistant principal in District 116 Round Lake at Village Elementary. 

What’s your philosophy of a principal’s role in education? 

Just as we want our teachers to create a safe, respectful, and engaging environment within their classrooms, a principal should do the same for their staff and school. The principal should learn and collaborate alongside staff — not out in front. A principal should be highly visible throughout the building. They need to be able to challenge staff to take risks and support them in professional growth. The final role of a principal is to bring students, families, and the community together to engage in the educational experience!

What excites you about working in District 200? 

There are so many things that excite me about working in D200. I think if I were to choose one, it has to be the people! During my short time here, have never been around a more helpful, caring, and dedicated group of individuals. They are all in it for the students and truly love what they do. I am blessed to be a part of the team and hope to be for many years to come! 

What should parents expect from you and your staff? 

Parents should expect myself and staff to be 100 percent dedicated to engaging their children in learning in a safe and respectful environment. They should expect us to support their children not only academically but also socially and emotionally. The lines of communication will always be open to share their child’s accomplishments. 

What should Dean Street students expect in 2018-2019? 

Our school theme at Dean Street is “The Power of Perseverance: We Never Give Up.” I believe it is important to instill grit in all students starting at an early age. Students who learn how to overcome obstacles, learn from their mistakes, and learn to never stop trying will be successful! Research supports the power of perseverance being a large indicator of success. No matter who we are, we all will face some sort of adversity in life … How respond to that adversity will define who we are!

Northwood MS Principal Bethany Hall

    Northwood MS Logo


Bethany Hall
Principal, Northwood Middle School

Tell us about your education and career.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and master’s degrees in mathematics and educational leadership, all from Northern Illinois University. This will be my 21st year in education and I have spent my entire career in District 200. I taught Mathematics at Woodstock High School for 15 years and have been the Assistant Principal here at Northwood for the past 5 years.   

What’s your philosophy of a principal’s role in education? 

I believe that a principal should consistently put the students in their school at the forefront oftheir actions and decisions. I also believe that building a strong relationship with the entire school community (students, teachers, staff and families) is crucial and really is the key to our students’ success. As a principal I hope to work with the entire school community to ensure that our students have a safe, engaging, and kind environment to learn and grow.  

What excites you about working in District 200? 

I feel very blessed to have spent my entire career in D200. Throughout my time here, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing students, parents, teachers, support staff, the list goes on and on. I have always felt that there is a family feel to D200 where people are supportive, they look out for each other, and truly want what is best for students. There also is an innovative nature to the different programs, resources and opportunities that we provide for our students that I hope will empower them to believe they can do anything with hard work and perseverance.   

What should parents expect from you and your staff?  

Parents should expect that when they send their student to Northwood each day they willbe cared for, supported and challenged. I want them to know that we will strive to help their student reach their goals academically and that we will support their growth socially and emotionally as well. Middle School is filled with milestones and parents should expect that we are here to help motivate them and help them navigate this pivotal time in their school career.  

What should Northwood students expect in 2018-2019?

Last spring our incoming 7th and 8th graders voted to select the theme for this school year.  

This year our theme at Northwood is based on an inspirational quote from Walt Disney, “It’s Kind of Fun to Do the Impossible.” We hope that this upcoming school year provides opportunities for our students to try new things and challenge themselves.  

WHS Principal Dr. Art Vallicelli      WHS Logo

Dr. Art Vallicelli
Principal, Woodstock High School

Tell us about your education and career. 

Although my mom and dad were the best teachers in preparing for my career, my education comes from time at University of Wisconsin where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in English (Go Badgers!), my master’s in education from the University of Illinois and my doctorate in educational and curriculum leadership from Northern Illinois University. This is my 16th year in education. Out of college, I started teaching 8th grade language arts and reading at Bernotas Middle School. I am now in my 14th year in District 200, where I have served eight years as an English teacher, five as an assistant principal, and I’m gearing up for my first as a principal! 

What’s your philosophy of a principal’s role in education? 

There is a lot for me to take in and grow into in my new role, but I do know one thing: I don’t know everything. My hope is that the staff will collaborate together to grow our school, create the best learning environment for all, and develop the best teaching strategies to maximize learning. Of course, it goes without saying that we will do everything in our power to ensure that our students are safe at all times. That is a non-negotiable as a principal. But, truly, my educational philosophy as a principal is a simple one: let’s do what’s best for the kids. I am really happy to report that I hear this all over from district administration, building-level administration, and teachers, and it isn’t lip-service.

What excites you about working in District 200? 

D200 is truly amazing. I have yet to cross an individual — not one — who won’t stop what they’re doing to help. From pre-K to grade 12, it is truly a team effort. The more I go to other schools and work with other teachers and administrators, the clearer it is to me that I work for the greatest district around. Our teachers are dedicated to learning new ideas, sharing those ideas with others in the district, and are always aiming to provide a 21st Century learning experience for our students. 

What should parents expect from you and your staff? 

Parents should expect a safe learning environment created by a staff that respects their students. They should expect an excellent education that creates pathways to success in high school and beyond. Our curriculum should be meaningful, skills-based, and help all students prepare and learn for whatever career path they choose to take. And, parents should expect clear communication from our staff about their student’s progress. When the home and the school work symbiotically, the level of education that we can provide is maximized. 

What should WHS students expect in 2018-2019? 

Pedagogically, our staff will continue working on student engagement strategies to make learning focused and pertinent. This was one of the focuses last year, and the developing these strategies takes some time, which is why we are continuing it this year. Another goal of ours is to create new differentiation strategies in the classroom to ensure that our students are working at their highest ability level. Informally, our theme this year is to concentrate on our professional “ikigai.” Ikigai is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to “Why we wake up in the morning.” The concept of ikigai has been researched as one of the key reasons that certain people live to be 100 years old or longer: they understand the purpose in their lives. For us at Woodstock High School — and so many others — the main reason that we all entered education is to grow and support students that come to us to learn every day, and we can never lose sight of that. Let’s always remember why we wake up every day — our students are our ikigai!