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Woodlands Academy names new Head of School

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, Lake Forest, Illinois, released the following on Tuesday, October 28:

Dear Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart Community,

On October 23, 2014, the Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the enthusiastic and unanimous nomination of the Search Committee for Margaret (Meg) Steele to become the next Head of Woodlands Academy, succeeding Gerald Grossman on July 1, 2015.

We are most fortunate that Meg has whole-heartedly embraced the opportunity to become Woodlands’ next Head and is eager to take Woodlands forward at this exciting time. Meg is an exceptional leader who brings passion for Catholic education and a deep understanding of the Sacred Heart charism and the Goals and Criteria to this leadership role. 

Meg has been with Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago since 1997. She began her career as a teacher, but soon took on various positions of leadership, including Curriculum Coordinator and Director of Kindergarten and First Grade, before finally becoming Head of Primary School in 2004. Given her years of service to Sacred Heart, she has a depth of understanding of the Goals and Criteria, which inform the life of every Sacred Heart school. She has extensive experience working with the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals (SHCOG), having served as a member of the Network committee and having participated as a visiting committee member and chair for several schools. In addition, she has attended the Provincial Assembly as one of only 20 lay people invited to participate. Meg is also a member of the Chicago Area Sacred Heart Associates.

Meg’s strengths as an educational leader are clearly evident. She brings not only a passion for the mission and charism of Sacred Heart schools, but also an appreciation of what it takes to be an effective leader. As she herself noted, “school leadership is about people. As a leader, one’s work is with adults, and to be effective one must focus on building relationships with all of the adults involved in the life of the school.” In her work at Sacred Heart, Meg has demonstrated a strong talent for building a dynamic and collaborative faculty and administration. Her passion for Sacred Heart education and her philosophy that learning from loving teachers in the Sacred Heart environment will provide our young women the strength of character and intellect which are necessary for success. While her work has been primarily at the elementary and middle school levels, Meg is well versed in learning, pedagogy, and curriculum in the broader context. Through her work with SHCOG as well as serving as a member of several Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) visiting committees she has worked to evaluate school programs, including secondary schools. Meg has also served on several Boards, including North Avenue Day Nursery and Children of the Heart Advisory Board. On a personal note, she has completed five Olympic distance triathlons, two half-ironman competitions, and one marathon.

Meg has been deeply impressed by all she has experienced at Woodlands Academy during her visits, and she is eager to throw her whole heart into working with the Woodlands community to continue to build on the school’s extraordinary heritage and aspirations for the future. Meg noted that “My impression after several visits to Woodlands is of a loving, happy school that prepares young women to use their gifts to make the world a better place. I am honored to join a community with such a rich history and that is so steeped in the mission of Sacred Heart. I look forward to joining the community as the new Head of School with gratitude for all that Woodlands has become under Gerald Grossman’s leadership, and hope for all that we will become together as we embark on the path forward.”

... We feel absolutely confident that we have selected the candidate who best fits the needs of our school community. We are looking forward to having Meg and Tom join the Woodlands Academy community, and Meg is very excited about the opportunities which lie ahead and looks forward to continuing Woodland’s tradition of academic excellence and service. 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Woodlands Academy community, it is our distinct pleasure to welcome Meg and Tom to our Woodlands community.


Jane Carroll                                                          Tom Flint
Search Chair                                                        Board Chair