Overstreet accepted a four-year contract to lead the school at 9241 S. Leavitt St. in Beverly. He was one of three candidates vying for the job.
"I am really really excited and humbled by the trust [parents] have in me," Overstreet said. "It's been an interesting six months, but I think things happen for a reason. And I am just thrilled to be the principal at Kellogg."
Overstreet was handed the reins to the school two days before Kellogg's budget was due. He then faced an unforeseen challenge, as Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) introduced a plan Sept. 10 to merge the school with nearby Sutherland Elementary School in Beverly.
That effort was said to be driven — in part — by declining enrollment from families living within neighborhood boundaries of both Kellogg and Sutherland. The plan was ultimately scrapped, but not until after a series of hotly contested meetings.
Overstreet said he did his best to keep the focus of students and faculty on Kellogg's day-to-day activities amid the merger. He also said that more neighborhood families have shown interest in attending the school in the wake of the threatened closure.
"I have given a lot of school tours, even today, to prospective parents," said Overstreet, who also pointed to Kellogg receiving the highest possible rating in the latest round of Chicago Public Schools' evaluations.
"One of my goals is to really share what is going on at Kellogg. We should be the No. 1 option for everyone living in this community," he said.
Strangely enough, this was not the first time Overstreet held the title of interim principal. He served in the same capacity at George F. Cassell Fine Arts School in Mount Greenwood last year after the mid-year retirement of Denise Esposito. She stepped aside in an effort to save the school from budget cuts.
The former principal at Kellogg, Eileen Scanlan, ended up with the principal job at Cassell over Overstreet. And the pair essentially ended up swapping desks.
None of that seemed to matter Wednesday night. Overstreet said he was encouraged to hear that surveys collected after the principal selection forum reflected strong support from those in the audience.
In fact, his attitude seemed to mirror the closing comments he made at a principal candidate Friday evening in the gymnasium used by the school's 249 students.
"I feel like I am a good fit for Kellogg, and I feel the best is yet to come," he said.
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