Dr. Laurie Kimbrel has been Superintendent at Tamalpais High School for six years and two months. Before that, she worked as Associated Superintendent at Grayslake Community High School for six years; Administrator at Lake Forest High School for eight years; and teacher at Glenwood Academy and Villa Grove school for five years in total. She was the Highland Park Superintendent for two days.

From Laurie Kimbrel’s Website:
Laurie Kimbrel has previously served the community as President, Schools for Sound Finance Adjunct Professor, National Louis University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Campus Grant Reader, Department of Education, and Washington, DC.


Highland Park, IL High School

Highland Park, IL High School

Her work history describes her visionary projects and her go-getter attitude. Nonetheless, two days ago Dr. Kimbrel tendered her resignation following two revelations. Her husband had admitted to cyberbullying a parent of the school, and the school board discovered that Dr. Kimbrel had formerly talked with Hazard Young Attea (HYA), the search firm that had recruited her for her new job, about the possibility of consulting for them. Heckles were raised, Tamalpais High School promised an investigation, and Kimbrel resigned.

Whether or not, Kimbrel is guilty is still to be decided. What stands out, however, is the role that “mob style” internet actions took in her downfall. Malicious observers, some uninvolved and misinformed, piled on and demanded her dismissal.

Online Comment from Local Resident:
I do not like Laurie Kimbrel. She is unethical. She neglected to disclose the fact that her husband was cyber bullying on your FB page and that he also posted confidential information that only she and the TDUHS Board knew before signing a binding 3 year contract with Township High School District 113 in Highland Park, IL. The HP community has adopted the slogan “Character Counts.” Dr. Kimbrel certainly lacks it.

Now, Kimbrel and her lawyer insisted that Kimbrel knew naught of her husband’s actions. Her husband confirmed that point. Nonetheless, it was posts like the above that culminated in her flight.

John Wright, a Tam trustee for 12 years, had this to say: “During the five years I was on the board, when Laurie was superintendent, only once did I ever receive a complaint from a teacher or parent about the changes she was implementing at our direction.” He concluded by hoping that, “The current board will follow a strong process to select a new superintendent who will be as great as Laurie Kimbrel.”

It seems to me that maliciousness may have obverted rational thinking and may have caused needless suffering. In a pre-Internet age, parties may have forgiven one another, shaken hands, perhaps exchanged money and allowed the qualified educator to either resume her place or leave. In our age, trolls make it worse. A pity. It appears Highland Park itself is now guilty of cyber bullying.

Story by: Leah Zitter, dbfchicago.com Writer