D70 Board Hires New Superintendent, Starts April 1

Libertyville School District 70 Board of Education members unanimously hired Rebecca A. Jenkins, who worked as a deputy and an assistant superintendent for the last six years, as D70’s new superintendent of schools to start on April 4. She will be the first female superintendent to lead the school district of 2,129 students.  

Jenkins, who was hired during a special school board meeting Thursday night (March 10), joins District 70 from Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 and Lake Forest High School District 115 where she served as deputy superintendent for three years and an assistant superintendent for three years before being promoted to deputy. While the school districts have a separate staff and board of education, they share the same administrators. She replaces Matt Barbini, now on a leave of absence, who did not seek an extension to his contract with District 70. 

Given the importance of the role, community members of parents, residents, and business owners, along with D70 staff members including teachers, support staff and administrators, and school board members worked together with the Illinois Association of School Boards in the recruitment and selection process. 

“The Board of Education emphasized a candidate having building experience. Rebecca checked that box,” said Board of Education President Wendy Schilling. “She has experience as a teacher, and as a building administrator both at the elementary and middle school levels. This was important to our staff and community. 

“Rebecca will bring high energy to the district and has already shared with the district some initiatives she would like to introduce. The board is confident that Rebecca will unify District 70,  create an environment where our students excel, parents see growth in their children both socially and emotionally, and that the staff and future staff continue to see us as a ‘Destination District.’”

Jenkins is known for her collaborative style, natural leadership, outgoing and friendly personality, and student-centered focus.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the first female superintendent for Libertyville School District 70,” Jenkins said. “I think it is fitting to be voted in during Women’s Week! I am thankful to the board for the thorough and robust process that was engaged in to chose your next superintendent. I will care for each child in our schools and believe each child has a voice and place to make an impact in this world. I will take time to listen and learn about the traditions and what makes Libertyville so amazing! I am also excited to work towards our bright future and look forward to the strategic planning process we will engage in the fall! Thank you for the opportunity and the warm welcome.” 

Before working in central office administration, Jenkins was a middle school principal for nine years in Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary School District 102 in Buffalo Grove. Il. She also worked as an assistant principal for an elementary school in D102 for two years. During her first five years in education, Jenkins, known for her collaborative style, was an elementary teacher in Northbrook, Grayslake, and Gurnee. 

A proud National Louis graduate, Jenkins holds an Educational Specialist degree in higher education administration., is expected to be awarded a doctorate of education this spring. She earned a master of education in administration and supervision,  and a bachelor of arts in education from the Chicago school and is currently working on her doctorate in educational administration from the Chicago School. Jenkins has also earned an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois.  

Jenkins has experience in strategic planning and is ready to lead District 70 through a new five-year plan, has created an Academic Governance System that allowed for greeted(greater) teacher voice and understanding of the decision-making process related to strategic goals and planning, mentored and supervised and evaluated department leaders, and implemented system-wide innovative learning environments and practices that focused on equitable and inclusive education with a high degree of success. 

Jenkins lives in Crystal Lake with her husband, Jason, and their 10-year-old daughter, MacKenzie.