Forest Park School District 91 has tapped two veteran educators to take on leadership roles in the coming school year. Susan Bogdan and Darla Kass, both of whom come with decades of experience in education, were named principal of D91 schools. 

Susan Bogdan

Bogdan, who has taught at Field-Stevenson Intermediate Elementary School for over 20 years, is being promoted to principal of Field-Stevenson. And Kass, who most recently served as an instructional support leader for Chicago Public Schools, has been chosen the next principal of Forest Park Middle School. 

The D91 Board of Education is expected to approve the hiring of Bogdan and Kass at the Aug. 12 meeting, said Superintendent Elizabeth Álvarez.

Álvarez and a small team of district officials began the search after Tiffany Brunson, principal of Field-Stevenson and Forest Park Middle School, resigned in early July. Brunson, who was at first a principal at Field-Stevenson, became principal of the middle school only after Joseph Pisano left last year. 

More than 30 candidates applied for each position, which had them sifting through stacks of resumes, Álvarez said. She and her team, which also included a teacher and parent, narrowed down the pool of applicants to two groups of roughly 10-15 candidates. From there, they began conducting interviews, shortening their list to reveal their Top 2-3 candidates. In the end, Bogdan and Kass snagged the spots. 

Álvarez said hiring Bogdan was a no-brainer. “She knows Field-Stevenson to a T, knows the needs of Field-Stevenson,” Álvarez said. “It would actually be a flaw on my part if I didn’t see that. I’m so excited to have Susan as an administrator.” 

Darla Kass

She added that several administrators, including Brunson, came forward to recommend Bogdan for the role.  

As for Kass, Álvarez was impressed by her work as an instructional support leader. In her former role, Kass often collaborated with principals and particularly kept a close eye on the schools’ math and science classes. Álvarez said Kass was well-versed in her knowledge of middle schools and showed a real commitment to meeting students’ social-emotional needs. On top of that, she had years of experience as a teacher. 

With the first day of school fast approaching, Álvarez said she looks forward to Bogdan and Kass heading the schools and welcoming staff, students and families back on campus. Bogdan and Kass already started assuming their roles this past week, she said. 

“It truly was a priority,” Álvarez said about hiring Bogdan and Kass. “We needed to get that done knowing school was around the corner.”