Marlowe Middle School, Conley Elementary announce new principals in Huntley District 158

Dana Halper, left, has been named the new principal of Marlowe Middle School in Huntley District 158. Katie Surjan has been chosen as principal of Conley Elementary, the district announced on May 17, 2024.

New leadership is coming to two schools in Huntley School District 158.

Katie Surjan will be the principal of Conley Elementary School in Algonquin, and Dana Halper will take the helm at Marlowe Middle School in Lake in the Hills. Both appointments start July 1.

Halper is new to the district and most recently served as assistant principal at Jerling Junior High School in Orland Park for three years, according to a news release from District 158. Halper previously was a remote team leader in LaGrange School District 105 for one year and a STEM teacher at William F. Gurrie Middle School for seven years, also in District 105, according to the district.

“I am honored to join the Marlowe team and hope to make this my school home for many years,” Halper said in the release. “It is clear that the Marlowe staff is student-centered and has a deep connection with families and the community. I look forward to working with everyone – students, staff and families – to continue to build on this momentum and, together, move Marlowe forward.”

Halper will succeed Bill Johnson as principal, who officials said was departing District 158.

“We are very excited to have Dana Halper join the Huntley 158 team as principal of Marlowe Middle School,” Superintendent Jessica Lombard said in the release. “Mrs. Halper will carry on the rich traditions of Marlowe while working toward student growth and achievement. I am confident that her vision and leadership will ensure that Marlowe continues to excel and evolve, taking the school community to the next level of success.”

Surjan taught middle school English in Geneva School District 34 and Yorkville School District 115 for 12 years before becoming an administrator. She has served as assistant principal for the past three years at Conley, according to the release.

“I look forward to continuing to build relationships with the staff, students and families at Conley, and to supporting the positive momentum and culture of the school,” Surjan said in the release. “It is my goal to promote an inclusive environment where all stakeholders are motivated, respected and excited to belong to the school community.”

Surjan, who is working on an education specialist degree for superintendency certification, replaces Anna Hoyou as principal. Hoyou will be taking on a director of curriculum and instruction role at the district office, according to the release.

“Mrs. Surjan has been active in supporting the district’s strategic plan by working on committees and projects that support the whole child,” Lombard said in the release. “Her insights, skills and experience as a former educator and assistant principal will provide a seamless transition for the Conley community.”

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