Geneva Community Unit School District 304 announces that Casey O’Connell has been hired as the principal for Western Avenue School (WAS) starting with the 2023-24 school year.
Mr. O’Connell will replace outgoing Principal Ron Zeman who is retiring at the end of the current school year after 15 years with the school district.
Mr. O’Connell has been with the Oswego School District 308 since 2002 when he joined as a teacher. He has been the principal at Homestead Elementary School since 2017. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Churchill Elementary School for six years.
He comes to Geneva 304 with awards and honors including the 2016 Employee of the Year award from the Oswego School District, the 2011 Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Those Who Excel Award of Excellence, and the 2009 ISBE Those Who Excel Award of Recognition.
He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University, Chicago.
Mr. O’Connell said that his family had the greatest influence on his decision to become an educator. “I come from a family of teachers. In my immediate family alone, my dad is a retired teacher, and my two sisters and brothers are teachers,” he said. “To say it is in our blood is an understatement.”
He said that as principal of WAS, he will encourage parents and community members to be actively involved with Geneva schools by involving parents and the community in school events. He plans to work closely with the PTO at WAS.
At his current school he worked with the PTA to introduce school-sponsored events and programs that support mental health, encourage reading and foster career development.
“I welcome parents discussing with me ways that we can be more inclusive and involved with our families and community,” he said.
Mr. O'Connell lives in Batavia with his family.