Jim Sullivan Mentored with a Smile and Grace

May 29, 2020

After 26 years of teaching, leading, and coaching at Lake Forest High School, Assistant Principal Mr. Jim Sullivan is ready for a new type of work: retirement and relaxation.

Mr. Sullivan is best known by students for sending out job opportunities, volunteer work emails, and Open Doors information, but the students and staff will miss more than just those incredibly helpful emails. They will miss the kindness and mentorship he offered to anyone in need.

“Throughout the years, Mr. Sullivan has navigated changes in leadership and changes across our district with grace, patience, and commitment. He loves teaching and learning and finds joy in helping colleagues improve their work as educators,” said Principal Dr. Chala Holland.

Dr. Holland referred to Mr. Sullivan as an “instrumental partner” and teammate.

“ I’m going to miss him so much. He brings a lot of happiness and joy to our leadership team. He also brings a lot of wisdom and valuable insights,” she said.

In the first 20 years at Lake Forest High School, Mr. Sullivan served as the Science Department Chair where he taught 10 different science courses ranging from geology to AP Enviro. He has always been passionate about teaching and everything he does at Lake Forest High School. 

The halls will not be the same without him.”

— Dean Michelene Tomek

The past five years, Mr. Sullivan has worked as an assistant principal. He calls companies to get them to agree to participate in Open Doors and to provide job opportunities for students. He is the LFHS foundation liaison, attends and helps at APT meetings, mentors both students and staff, handles annual teacher evaluations, and organizes summer school.

“That’s not even all of it,” he said.

Dean Michelene Tomek said the “halls will not be the same without  him.”

“Mr. Sullivan will be greatly missed. He has done so much for LFHS and personally, has been an incredible and  confidante mentor to me,” she said.

Social studies teacher Mrs. Laura Flangel, who like Mr. Sullivan graduated from Lake Forest College, started at LFHS the same year.

“He is a gentleman, a committed educator, a peace maker, and a great dad, who has a wicked dry sense of humor,” said Mrs. Flangel. “You will be missed Jim!”

As far as retirement goes, Mr. Sullivan said he is planning on “taking it easy.” He is thinking about offering tutoring to kids in the LF/LB area, specifically in science. He might take up coaching for a swim team, something he has done in the past for high school and middle school students in Florida many years ago.  


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