Jack Baldermann, principal of Westmont High School in Illinois, has been an educational leader for more than 20 years, serving as a superintendent, principal, and teacher. As director of secondary schools in Hartford, Connecticut, he supervised a talented group of high school and middle school principals in one of the most improved urban school districts in the country.
Jack has been selected as the Illinois High School Principal of the Year for 2017. Under his leadership, Westmont (a Title I school outside Chicago) became a professional learning community in 2012. Since then, the school has achieved a 99 percent graduation rate (including a 100 percent graduation rate for Latino and African American students), made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the first time in eight years, and had double-digit increases on state math and reading assessments. The advanced placement program was recognized by Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Post as one of the most improved in the United States. The school increased the number of students who passed AP exams and the number of AP Scholars by 500 percent, drastically reduced the number of discipline referrals, and nearly eliminated school suspensions.
In a survey administered by the state, over 97 percent of Westmont faculty agreed that morale was high and the relationship between the administration and teachers was effective. Jack has also helped implement a series of successful intervention strategies to increase student learning.
Previously, Jack served as the superintendent and principal at Riverside Brookfield High School in Illinois. During his tenure, Riverside Brookfield was recognized as one of the most improved schools in Illinois and the nation. Jack's leadership helped the school earn recognition as one of the top 150 high schools in America from 2006 to 2009. The school also made AYP and realized large increases in test scores and graduation rates, including a six-year graduation rate average of 98 percent.
As a mentor for principals and as a consultant for school districts, Jack has helped many districts achieve significant increases in test scores and make AYP. He also initiated positive changes at Carl Sandburg High School (student population of 3,400) and enjoyed success leading several urban schools, implementing professional learning community concepts at these sites.
Jack has led workshops and presented in 46 states and Canada. A student-centered, compassionate, and visionary leader, Jack excels in building teams that significantly improve the educational community and ensure that all students learn. He shares these proven, practical strategies with fellow practitioners in dynamic presentations infused with thought-provoking wit and wisdom.
Jack is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a master of arts in educational administration from Saint Xavier University, a master of arts in English from Loyola University, and a bachelor of arts in political science and English from the University of Saint Francis.