District 99 names new Downers Grove North principal

District 88 administrator Courtney DeMent to assume leadership role July 1

DOWNERS GROVE - After an extensive search that included student, staff and family input, Community High School District 99 has named a new principal for Downers Grove North High School.

The District 99 Board of Education on Monday approved the hiring of Courtney DeMent, who will start her school leadership role on July 1.

“From teaching and coaching students to leading educators, Courtney has the perfect blend of experiences that are required to serve as the leader of North High,” District 99 Superintendent Hank Thiele said in a news release. “I want to thank all of the people who served on the team to interview and consider candidates, which ultimately led us to choosing Courtney for this important role.”

Since 2002, DeMent has worked at DuPage High School District 88, which includes Addison Trail and Willowbrook high schools. In her current position as assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Addison Trail, which she has held since 2014, she leads curriculum development, evaluation of teachers and staff and other initiatives.

She has helped lead many programs that are similar in nature to those in District 99, including Deep Equity, AVID, AP and coordinated curriculum development. Previously, she served as assistant principal for operations, overseeing facilities and construction projects. She also was director of student activities/assistant athletic director, developing programs for students and serving as head coach for the girls swim team.

“North High is an exceptional school, with a strong and national reputation for excellence in academics, athletics and activities,” DeMent said in a statement. “I’m honored to have been selected to lead the people who make North High so wonderful.”

DeMent started her career as an English teacher at Addison Trail after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University. She also holds a master’s degree in educational organization and leadership from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and is expected to complete her doctorate in educational leadership from Aurora University.

DeMent is well known in DuPage County as a leader in the Illinois Principals Association and for leading the Assistant Principal Collaborative for the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

She will replace Janice Schwarze, who has served as principal since 2015 and was recently named DuPage County High School Principal of the Year. Schwarze is retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year after working in education for 33 years.

“I am confident that Courtney will be an excellent leader for North High,” Schwarze said in a statement. “Her experience serving in a variety of roles at a large high school gives her a strong foundation to lead our staff and students and all of the initiatives we have underway.