Erin DeLuga, future principal of LZ, smiling up from her binder. Although her job starts in July, DeLuga says she is already looking forward to joining the LZ family. (Photo by Caroline Sun)
Erin DeLuga, future principal of LZ, smiling up from her binder. Although her job starts in July, DeLuga says she is already looking forward to joining the LZ family.

Photo by Caroline Sun

Former rugby player, English enthusiast, future LZ principal

Meet Erin DeLuga, your next principal of LZ

March 8, 2020

If you are curious about why the last name of LZ’s next principal sounds so familiar, that might be because it is. Erin DeLuga, future principal of the high school, is the aunt of two LZ students, York High School principal for the past four years, and next leader of our school, but there is still much to learn about her.

After getting to know Stephan Bild, current interim principal, we set out this week to learn a bit more about DeLuga, her position at LZ, and the life she lives when she’s not busy leading a school.

 

Q: What are some hobbies you have?

Being an English person, reading’s a favorite pastime of mine. I also love being outdoors. In high school, I was a cross country runner so I did that for four years and then when I got to University of Illinois, I played rugby. And then before I became an administrator, I coached varsity track and field and basketball and speech and acting team, so I love doing all those things. I also like to sing, and I’ve sung for weddings and things like that because I come from a family of teachers but also performers. Another thing that I love to do is just exercise because after high school cross country, running never goes away. It’s part of you for life.

 

Q: Do you have any children?

A: I have two daughters; Aubrey is ten and Emma is seven. We like to do a lot of fun mother-daughter things, and they were at the Board meeting when I got approved. They’re both so, so excited. Emma, my little one, has Down syndrome, and the person she loves so much is my nephew Noah, who’s a senior here. The sun rises and sets for Emma with Noah, and it’s very cute.

 

Q: What are some fun facts about you?
A: I have an identical twin sister. She’s a speech coach at a high school in the south suburbs, so anytime the York speech team competed against Homewood-Flossmoor, they’d see her and then they’d email me and go, “you’re sitting across the room but you have blonde hair” and I’m like, “that’s my sister.” So it’s always fun because when we were younger we could pull all kinds of pranks on people. Also, my mom was a nun and my dad was a Christian brother and then they left their orders, just like in the Sound of Music, and ended up getting married and having five kids. 

 

Q: What’s your personal mantra? 

A: Be who you are, be yourself. It’s so critically important. As students in high school, you have to follow your passion, and do you and not worry about what other people think about you and that’s a really something that I’m really passionate about right now. 

 

Q: Do you have a spirit animal? 

A: I’m gonna have to go with a tiger. I try to stay on top of things but also I’m a fighter. I’ve gone through some pretty tough things in my life and I came out swinging, and that inspires me to be a great role model to my own children but also to high school students, who are my favorite people on earth.

 

Photo by Caroline Sun
DeLuga (right) meeting with LZHS staff members. As she transitions into her new position at LZ, she says that she is working to get to know both the students and staff of the school on a more personal level.

 

Q: Why did you decide to accept the principal position at LZ?

A: I have nieces and nephews in this school system, so when the Board reached out to me, I started really looking into it. I know what a great district this is, and I’m only about 10 minutes away from here, while I’m about 40 minutes away from York. And with two little kids of my own, I thought to myself, “this could be a great work-life balance that would also let me be a part of an awesome community here at LZ.”

 

Q: What are your goals as principal of LZ for the next school year?

A: To keep fostering a lot of internal leadership with the teaching staff and with students to promote and celebrate all the good things that are going on. I hope to be a strong support to what we’re working on instructionally and to keep LZ visible and out there so that both students and staff know that I’m here to be a cheerleader for both. I hope that we continue being a lighthouse school, and that I am able to really get to know students and staff personally and individually, so that we can become a really tight knit family.

 

Q: What are you most looking forward to here at LZ?

A:  I want students to invite me into clubs and activities because I love doing stuff like that. It’s a passion of mine. I was an English teacher for a long time before going into administration and so I just love being with students as much as possible, and getting into classrooms all the time and taking pictures and posting on social media. 

 

Q: What has been your impression of LZ so far?

A: This school is so interesting. The students seem so friendly and outgoing and they’re very willing to say hello and introduce themselves so that’s really neat. It’s just a sign of how mature they are.

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