Email to a friend
named new director of University High School
Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894; email@example.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —
Kathleen Moroney Patton, the dean of academic affairs and assistant
principal at Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago, has been named
the new principal and director of University Laboratory High School,
the laboratory school of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Patton is scheduled to begin work at Uni High on Aug. 16. She succeeds
John Hedeman, who is resigning to take a position with the university’s
College of Business.
"Kathleen Patton comes to the position with extensive administrative
experience, having worked in a variety of educational settings, grappling
with a wide range of challenges" said Richard Herman, the provost
at Illinois. "She brings a passion for her work that will be contagious
throughout the Uni community, and I am sure she will quickly establish
a solid rapport with teachers and students."
Patton was one of three finalists for the position who were brought
to campus to meet with teachers, staff, students, parents and university
administrators. Feedback from those meetings weighed heavily in the
search committee’s recommendation of Patton for the position,
Herman said. The search committee also noted her experience working
with diverse populations of academically talented students and in collaborative
team teaching, he said.
Patton earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1983 from Northeastern
Illinois University, and followed that with two years of graduate work
at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1992, she earned a master’s
degree in English from Saint Xavier University, and in 1996 earned a
master’s in educational administration from Governors State University.
She is working toward a doctorate in educational organization and leadership
Patton formally began her high school teaching career in 1986 as an
English instructor at St. Joseph High School in Chicago, where she taught
for five years before moving to Crete-Monee High School, in Crete, in
1991. After seven years of teaching there, she served one year as the
school’s dean of students, then two years as assistant principal.
In 2000, she took an administrative position at Bremen High School in
Midlothian, then one year later moved into her current position at Hales
Franciscan High School. For five months in 2002, she also served as
the school’s interim principal.
University Laboratory High School was established in 1921 and serves
as a site for curriculum research while providing a model college-preparatory
program for academically gifted students. The school counts three Nobel
Prize winners and a Pulitzer Prize winner among its alumni.
Twice in recent years, its graduating class has achieved the highest
average composite score in the nation on the ACT exam, among U.S. high
schools with 30 or more students from that class taking the exam.
Students at Uni take a five-year accelerated high school curriculum
that begins with the subfreshman year, a combined seventh- and eighth-grade
experience thought to be the oldest gifted education experiment in the
As a laboratory school, Uni is a public school eligible for state aid,
but because its enrollment is not determined by residence, the school
does not receive any local property- or corporate-tax support. Additional
funds are provided by parents, alumni and friends, as well as from corporate
sources and grants.
The school’s normal enrollment is about 300 students.