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Local News

Plainfield superintendent Harper headed for Providence Catholic

John Harper
John Harper

NEW LENOX – Retiring Plainfield school district Superintendent John Harper will take over as principal of Providence Catholic High School next year.

“We know he brings a lot of experience,” said the Rev. Richard McGrath, president at Providence. “There’s not too much that’s going to be a surprise for him.”

Harper has served as a teacher, administrator and superintendent of Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 for more than 30 years.

He will retire in June, handing over the district’s reins to Associate Superintendent Lane Abrell as part of a four-year plan to make a smooth transition to a new superintendent.

“For the past 33 years, I’ve been blessed to both live and work in District 202,” Harper said in a news release from Providence. “And I’ll remain eternally grateful for the life lessons I’ve learned from my colleagues, our families and most especially, our students.”

McGrath said the interview process started with a search committee of 11 members. Harper sent his resume by email, along with 25 candidates. After checking references, the committee interviewed seven people.

After calling three of those candidates in for a second interview, the committee brought two of them for review to McGrath, who chose Harper after a third interview.

“He’s a graduate from Providence, and that is helpful,” McGrath said, adding that Harper is in some ways overqualified for the position. “One difference is this is a private school. He’ll be learning about that difference.”

“I was a student at Providence Catholic,” Harper said in the news release. “Consequently, being named principal of Providence Catholic is a tremendous honor, bringing with it a strong sense of ‘coming home.’ ”

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