Vernon Hills High administrator earns state honor
Jean Auctt, assistant principal of Vernon Hills High School, was chosen as Assistant Principal of the Year this winter by the Illinois Principals Association. Winning Lake County, Aucutt now moves on to be considered for statewide recognition in the fall.
Updated: April 1, 2013 2:04AM
VERNON HILLS — Jean Aucutt says her job at Vernon Hills High School is its own reward.
Still, she is honored to have been chosen Assistant Principal of the Year this winter by the Illinois Principals Association.
Winning in the Lake region, Aucutt now moves on to be considered for statewide recognition in the fall.
Q: Did you know you were up for the award? What was your reaction?
A: Yes, I knew that the principal had nominated me. I guess I was humbled by it. It was nice of her to do that and it’s nice to be recognized.
Q: How long have you worked in education?
A: This is my 32nd year with the district and I’ve been at Vernon Hills High School since it opened in 1999. I started out as a business teacher, then moved on to student facilitator/counselor, then a dean of students. I was also a department chair for a year. And finally, assistant principal.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job?
A: I like that I have different things to do every day. I oversee student services, for instance, so there are a lot of different things to get involved in. I’ve been so fortunate to work in this district. Our community is so supportive and they give us amazing resources. I can’t say enough about the kids we work with either. They are driven to do the best they can. It’s a fun place to be. I think it’s contagious when you work in a place where everyone looks forward to coming to work and kids know teachers care about them.
Q: What are the challenges of your work?
A: I think you strive to meet kids where they are and bring them to a place where they can be successful. Sometimes that’s hard, but I enjoy it. I think I’m just one of the lucky ones, being able to do something I love.
Q: Is there anything that stands out as a career highlight for you?
A: I think coming to work at Vernon Hills High School and starting the building from scratch. Doing that is a really amazing thing. We worked with the community to name the mascot and everything else. Seeing it go from not even having athletic fields in the beginning to being the academic powerhouse we are now is really gratifying.