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'I HAVE DECIDED TO RETIRE' BSD2 Board approves retirement agreement with Superintendent

Dr. James Stelter, Superintendent of Schools, has decided to retire after 19 years of exemplary service to the students and families of Bensenville School District 2.

In his April 16 letter to the BSD2 Board of Education formally outlining his retirement plans, Dr. Stelter, who has served as the District’s superintendent for the past 11 years, called this decision “bittersweet.”

“Bensenville School District 2 has been an amazing journey for me, but that journey was only possible with the awesome leaders in the school district and with amazing support from the Board of Education. The students and community have benefited in a huge way under our collective leadership,” stated Dr. Stelter in his letter. “The COVID19 pandemic has caused all of us to reflect and rethink what is important in our lives and families. With kids already in two different states and elderly parents that need more assistance, I have decided to retire so that I can spend more time with my family.”

The Board approved Dr. Stelter’s retirement agreement during its April 21 meeting. His retirement will take effect June 30. The Board will address filling his position after newly elected Board members are officially seated during a special April 28 organizational meeting.

“Dr. Stelter’s positive impact on the entire community is immeasurable,” said Bob Laudadio, President of the BSD2 Board of Education. “The new school buildings are great and will create great learning opportunities for our kids and families for many years into the future. Dr. Stelter did all of this great work without raising taxes.”

“Thank you, Dr. Stelter,” said Katie Krajecki, Board Vice President. “We’re incredibly grateful for all you’ve done for District 2, and wish you the very best in your well-deserved retirement.”

The following are some of the District’s key accomplishments under Dr. Stelter’s leadership during his almost-20-year BSD2 career:

  • Building an amazing staff of teachers, support staff and administrators that create a world of opportunities for students and families.
  • Completing almost $80 million of new school construction and renovations with no tax increase.
  • Achieving "Commendable” ratings for all BSD2 schools from the State Board of Education, which reflects the hard work of our students, families, teachers and support staff.
  • Balancing the budget for 17 consecutive years.
  • Obtaining almost $10 million of grants from the U.S. Department of Education to fund after-school programming, family advocacy, mental health, early childhood, and home visiting through the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Receiving numerous state-wide awards in ISBE’s “Those Who Excel” program, the most recent being an Award of Excellence for the District’s home visit program.
  • Earning a National Blue Ribbon Award for Mohawk School.
  • Receiving the Gold Circle of Quality, the highest rating possible from the Illinois State Board of Education, for the District’s Preschool for All program at Tioga School.
  • Partnering with Metropolitan Family Services to bring the Head Start program to Tioga School in support of our youngest learners in the school district.
  • Emphasizing the importance of kids building 21st century learning skills and outcomes in the areas of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. 
  • Developing a Portrait of a Graduate, a collective vision of student success for the community in partnership with Fenton High School and Wood Dale School District 7.

“Thank you to the Board of Education and the awesome communities of Bensenville and Wood Dale for the opportunity to serve you for so many years, I will miss you greatly,” said Dr. Stelter.