Batavia school district taps Niles leader as next superintendent

Batavia Unit District 101 has hired a new superintendent to replace Lisa Hichens, who will retire at the end of the school year.

School board members unanimously voted Tuesday to hire Tom Kim, assistant superintendent for human resources for Niles Township High School District 219.

“He has a history of fighting for education equity. He is all about student learning. He is a relationship-builder. And he engages the community,” board President Cathy Dremel said Tuesday night.

Kim starts July 1 and will receive a salary of $230,000 for the first year. The contract calls for annual raises of 1.6% to 5%, based on the rate of inflation tied to the Consumer Price Index.

“I hope you will see that whatever we do moving forward, it is going to be for students,” Kim said “It is going to be for an environment that is here to meet everyone’s needs to make sure we have the best schools.”

Before working in Niles, Kim was an associate superintendent in Crystal Lake District 155.

Hichens became superintendent in 2013. Before that, she was the principal of Batavia High School. She started with the district in 1994 as a teacher.

Kim will be one of several new superintendents in Kane County next year. The Dundee and West Aurora districts have hired new people to replace retiring superintendents. Geneva Superintendent Kent Mutchler is retiring, but the district has not chosen a replacement.


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