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Hawthorn District 73 hires 2 interim superintendents

VERNON HILLS – Hawthorn School District 73 has two new interim superintendents for the 2018-19 school year.

The school district’s board of education voted unanimously to appoint Mark R. Friedman and Joseph M. Porto to the positions. They are replacing Superintendent Nick Brown, who accepted a position in Indiana.

The two interim superintendents are expected to stay in their positions until a new superintendent is hired by the district in 2019. 

Friedman served as superintendent of Libertyville School District 70 for 17 years. Before that, he was assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel in Lincolnwood, principal and director of curriculum in Itasca, and a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Upon retiring from the Libertyville school district, he served as an interim superintendent in Winnetka, Arlington Heights/Elk Grove Village, and Niles Township High School District 219 in Skokie.

In 2011, Porto retired after a 33-year career in public education. During that time, he served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools.

Porto was a superintendent for 16 years, first in Pleasantdale School District 107 in Burr Ridge for seven years and then at Avoca School District 37 in Wilmette for the last nine years of his career.

While Porto led Avoca 37, the school district rose to prominence for both academic achievement and innovation in the use of school technology. By the year Porto retired, Avoca had risen to second place in the state of Illinois for student achievement. Also during this same period, Avoca won the National School Board Association Technology Salute District Award and three straight Science Olympiad Championships.

Hawthorn School District 73 is working with the Libertyville-based educational search firm BWP & Associates to recruit a new superintendent. The search will include opportunities for parents, district employees and the public to give input and feedback. 

Hawthorn School District 73 is a preschool through eighth-grade public school district. It serves the communities of Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Libertyville, Indian Creek and unincorporated areas of Lake County. 

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