EDGEWATER — Mary Beck is officially the new principal at Senn High School — allowing her to drop the "interim" principal title she's held since taking over the school last summer.
At a special Tuesday night Local School Council meeting at the school, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave., members of the Principal Selection Committee said they'd met after a public forum with the principals Monday and formally recommended the council hire Beck.
The council then voted 10-0 in favor of making Beck Senn's new leader.
"I'm so happy to be here," Beck said to applause. "I'm excited to continue what we started in July, and from here we're only going to continue to build a strong culture, and strong community."
Beck also said that she was confident that soon enough Senn would be the top-level school "we're destined to be."
Beck's current contract ends June 30, and her new one will begin July 1.
The LSC chairwoman thanked the principal selection committee for its hard work on the selection process, and said it was because of its "thorough and really wonderful" search that "we ended up where we did."
Susan Bertocchi, a parent representative on the council, agreed.
"After everything the school went through 6 months ago it was critical to be thorough and transparent," Bertocchi said. "We didn't want the person awarded [the contract] to have any claims it was handled any other way, and I think that's in the best interests of the school."
Beck had previously been up against two other contenders — Kevin Gallick, principal at George Washington High School, and Jason Siegellak, assistant principal at Hammond Elementary School — who joined her at Monday night's forum.
The search for a new principal at Senn came after former principal Susan Lofton was ousted last year after an investigation by the Chicago Public Schools district's inspector general.
A report from the watchdog found Lofton and two other Senn employees conspired to keep 15 special needs students out of the school's fine arts program by lowering admission scores.
For the 2015-16 school year, Beck, a former Von Steuben High School assistant principal, was selected as interim principal.
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