LTHS board names Leslie Owens director of student services

The District 204 Board of Education named Leslie Owens 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, a news release stated. 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 implementing professional learning for special education teams. She also worked as a school psychologist at both the La Grange 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.

“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,” Owens said in a statement.

“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,” she said.

Owens is a proven educator, Superintendent Brian Waterman stated in the release, adding, “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 4,000-plus students and their families effectively, efficiently and with compassion.”

LT is special to so many for so many reasons, Owens said.

“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 degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, a specialist degree in school psychology from the University of Detroit-Mercy, and a master of arts degree in school leadership from Concordia University Chicago. She is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership with superintendent’s endorsement, also at Concordia University Chicago. This winter, she will defend her dissertation: “Superintendents’ Understanding and Application of Evidence-Based Funding Principles into District and School Budget Decisions.”