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URBANA — Uni High’s interim director will be sticking around as its official director and principal, pending approval from the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Elizabeth Majerus joined Uni’s English faculty in 1999 and completed her Ph.D. at the UI in 2001. Majerus then served as department head for 17 years until she was named interim director of the school in July 2019.

“During this time, (Majerus) has been an effective leader in several challenging situations, including navigating the COVID-19 pandemic to maximize safety of our entire community while also ensuring high-quality education and experiences for our Uni High students,” UI Provost Andreas Cangellaris wrote to Uni High families and staff. “I believe she will be a strong, innovative and collaborative leader.”

Over the next five years, Majerus will focus on increasing equity and diversity within the student body, partnering with more local organizations and public schools, assessing Uni’s “subfreshman,” or eighth-grade year, and finding ways to continue the school’s tradition of creativity in the classroom.

“Uni’s future should be one of educational innovation achieved by experiment, risk, discovery and self-reflection, as well as collaboration with other entities striving to advance education and support discovery in the minds and visions of young people,” Cangellaris said, adding that Majerus “has served Uni High well in her time as interim, and I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in a more permanent leadership role.”

Majerus’ permanent status will begin Aug. 16 once trustees approve the move.

Uni is among several area high schools that have announced principal hires for the 2021-22 school year. Others include Arcola (Nick Lindsey), Blue Ridge (Brian Easter), Oakwood (John Odle) and Urbana (Taren Nance).

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