New Principal Named at LBES for 2020 - 2021 School Year

Kellie Bae

Kellie Bae has been named the new principal of Lake Bluff Elementary School effective July 1, 2020.  Currently the Lake Bluff 65’s Director of Curriculum and the Lake Bluff Middle School Assistant Principal, Kellie will take on her new role July 1 at an annual salary of $134,480.   Bae will be replacing Margaret St. Claire who will be retiring on June 30, 2020.  Her hiring was approved at the October 9 school board meeting.  Lake Bluff Elementary School, 350 W. Washington Ave., serves around 575 preschool through fifth-grade students in Lake Bluff District 65.

Superintendent Dr. Jean Sophie is also retiring at the end of this school year.  Dr. Sophie stated that Lake Bluff 65 will be going through some administrative transitions beginning in 2020.  “We knew a couple of years ago that Margaret and I would both be retiring at the end of this school year.  We also have a technology coordinator retiring and a couple of other administrators that have completed advanced degrees and certifications that may not be back for the 2020-2021 school year as well.  I recommended to the Board of Education that we have a great internal candidate that knows our district, our staff, and our students and that can continue moving the district forward with the work we have been doing and we are excited about that.  We chose stability and continuity with all of these changes over an open process because of the anticipated changes that are coming in administration.”  We will be filling Kellie’s position at some time after the first of the year.

"We needed to have a principal who loves kids and is child centered, caring of staff and families, is a good communicator, someone who is calm and provides steady leadership and who will be here for a while and bring consistency," Sophie said. "Kellie surpasses this in all of these areas and has so many gifts."

Superintendent Jean Sophie said Bae was selected for her experiences as a teacher and coordinator of curriculum as well as her passion and commitment to Lake Bluff 65. "She's the perfect fit for the LBES learning community as she knows the staff and families in both schools," Sophie said.  Kellie taught in Schaumburg prior to coming to Lake Bluff in 2010.  Since that time, she has taught 3rd grade, served as a Reading Specialist, has been our Curriculum Teacher Leader, our Director of Curriculum and our Assistant Principal at Lake Bluff Middle School. 

Bae, age 38, said the school and location are perfect for her. "I'm really excited about the elementary school setting and the community that I live and work in” said Bae.  Kellie lives in Lake Bluff with her husband Jae, a Cook County Sheriff’s Police Investigator, and her son Lincoln who is an active 3 and will attend the Elementary School. 

“I can't wait to be back at LBES with our PreK-5 students! I am really excited to see things in action each day while working alongside students and teachers.  The expectation from the community as far as performance with high achieving students and very involved families is important to me," said Bae.  "The students, staff and parents who are part of the elementary school community are very special to me and I look forward to sharing in many laughs, memories, and wonderful experiences as a school community in the years to come,” Kellie said.   

"It is important that our wonderful and hardworking staff feels a smooth transition and are supported in their work.  It is also just as important that our families experience a smooth transition and have a principal that values their partnership. “ said Sophie.  

The Lake Bluff 65 district is currently working through the superintendent search process to replace Dr. Sophie, who joined the district in 2012, and put together a new administrative team after much turnover. The new Superintendent will be named by the end of December or the middle of January.