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Providence Catholic hires alum as new principal

The Rev. Richard McGrath (from left) DSebestyen congratulate John Harper accepting his new positias new principal Providence Catholic High School.

The Rev. Richard McGrath (from left) and Don Sebestyen congratulate John Harper on accepting his new position as new principal at Providence Catholic High School. | Supplied photo

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Updated: April 22, 2014 6:29AM



Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox has chosen an alumnus as its new principal.

John Harper, who graduated from the school in 1977, has been selected to replace Don Sebestyen, who’s retiring June 30 after 14 years as principal.

Harper is retiring on that date as superintendent of Plainfield Community School District 202, where he has spent his entire 33-year career in education, according to a news release from Providence.

The Rev. Richard J. McGrath, president of Providence, said, “After an extensive search we have chosen the best candidate for the job.”

During his years in District 202, Harper also was an assistant superintendent, principal of a middle school and an elementary school, a teacher and a coach.

The large district has more than 30,000 students, 3,000 staff members and an annual budget averaging $300 million.

In a statement, Harper said he has been “blessed to both live and work in District 202, and I’ll remain eternally grateful for the life lessons I’ve learned from my colleagues, our families and, most especially, our students.”

He called being named principal of Providence a “tremendous honor, bringing with it a strong sense of ‘coming home.’ ... For me, my return to Providence Catholic signals the ‘circle of life.’ ”

Harper has a doctorate in education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Illinois State University as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Francis.

He lives in Plainfield with his wife and children.



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