MAPLE PARK – Kaneland High School Principal Theodore "Chip" Hickman is leaving his post to join the Rockford School District in July.
Hickman, who has been principal at Kaneland High School since 2011, accepted a position as assistant superintendent for secondary education in Rockford, and his last day at Kaneland is June 30.
He said it's a bittersweet decision, as he has spent 10 years of his career in the Fox Valley area. Before taking the Kaneland High School position, Hickman was associate principal at Batavia High School for seven years.
"There's such a strong sense of community here in the Fox Valley area," he said. "It's been a great place to work."
Among his accomplishments during his two-year tenure at Kaneland High School, Hickman said test scores "increased dramatically" across grade levels, adding that the school had been placed on the Advanced Placement Honor Roll.
The high school also transitioned from block schedules to a standard period day, and numerous intervention programs have also been put into place in the last two years. Another big accomplishment, Hickman said, was starting a career and college readiness program that helps students with college applications and a four-year college planning guide.
"He accomplished the goals we challenged him to work toward," Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. "I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to work with him for two years here."
Schuler said the principal position was posted Tuesday, and school officials hope to move through the process quickly with the goal of hiring the best candidate for the position.
"We've put together a process to make sure we involved lots of people in helping us make that decision," he said.
Hickman said he's confident that Kaneland leadership will be able to carry on the district's mission in the search for a new principal.
"The commitment by our staff and our students, it's inspiring," he said. "The work that they have done and the achievements students have accomplished is a great compliment to students and teachers in general. It truly has been a privilege."