District 102 Appoints New Principal at Congress Park School


James Robinette, principal of Barbour Two-Way Language Immersion School in Rockford, will join La Grange School District 102’s administrative team as the new principal of Congress Park School in Brookfield. Robinette’s appointment was approved at the May 3 Board of Education meeting and he will begin his new role July 1.  He will be taking the reins following the departure of Claudia Jiménez, who served as Congress Park’s principal for the past school year. Robinette was selected after an extensive interview process that included parents, staff and administrators.  Superintendent Kyle Schumacher, Ed.D. believes Robinette’s commitment to parent and community involvement and his dedication to providing a positive educational environment for staff and students will be a great asset for the Congress Park school community.

“He brings a passion for all children, a working knowledge of dual language and language acquisition, and a spirit to develop relationships with students, staff, parents and the community,” said Dr. Schumacher.

Robinette has spent the past three years in Rockford Public Schools at Barbour Two-Way Language Immersion School. In the principal role, he developed Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) process for the school with the Student Success Team, refocused the school on student and staff safety, was a member of the strategic planning committee for the school, coordinated a “Taste of Barbour” open house for prospective students, reintroduced a more focused PBIS and lowered discipline referrals by over 25 percent, and implemented short cycle goal setting to improve student achievement. Annual school level satisfaction has been above district average per a district survey during Robinette’s tenure.

Robinette began his foray into administration in 2013 as the administrative director/bilingual director in Rhodes School District 84.5 in River Grove. He launched his teaching career in 2009 at Rhodes School District 84.5 where he taught middle school language arts, social studies, elementary computer and fifth grade ESL.

A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, Robinette also holds a second master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with ESL endorsement from Concordia University.

Robinette is a member of local, state, and national associations including the Illinois Principals Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. In addition, he has presented at the national Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Conference (2018), 41st Annual Statewide Conference for Teachers Serving Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students (2017), and will be presenting at the Illinois Principals Association conference this October in Springfield.

“I have always held District 102 in very high regard,” said Robinette.  “The community support for their children's education is second to none and the academic scores are proof.  I look forward to being a member of a team that is dedicated to student success, community engagement, and an overall commitment to making the educational experience exceptional.  Congress Park has a lot of exciting things happening and I am very excited to be part of continuing the success of the school and working closely with the students, staff, and community.”

A resident of Lombard, Robinette and his wife, Lianne, have four children and he enjoys running, coaching his children, reading and spending time with his family.  He is a volunteer coach of soccer, baseball and basketball for the Lombard Park District and Lombard Baseball League.  He also served on the Lombard School District 44 Board of Education for two years.