Hillcrest names Ronald Towner Principal

Hillcrest names Ronald Towner Principal, Welcomes New Administration

Hillcrest High School, located in Country Club Hills, Illinois, is pleased to introduce its newest Principal, Ronald Towner. The former Athletic Director at Oak Forest High School has spent the past 18 years of his educational career with Bremen High School District 228, and will officially take hold of his newest position on July 1.


Additionally, Hillcrest is welcoming Eric Washington, former Athletic Director at Bremen High School, as the newest Associate Principal. Former District Supervisor for Math, Amy DiForti, is being welcomed as the Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning. Maurice Young, Hillcrest’s former Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning, will now be the school’s Athletic Director. Former Special Education teacher, Maricha Matthews, is the high school’s newest Dean. 


Towner began his journey in D228 as an English teacher and Head Boys Track Coach at Hillcrest for eight years. He then switched over to Athletic Director at Oak Forest High School for 10 years. 


“I'm excited to see what we can do to bring Hillcrest High School to new heights,” Towner said. “ I've been back since January, and I quickly remembered why Hillcrest is such a special place. Great students and a great staff.”


Towner attended Stagg High School in Palos Hills, where he graduated with the class of 1992. He then went to Eastern Illinois University, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in English, with a minor in History.  Towner also received his Master's Degrees from Governor's State and Concordia Universities. 


“I often use the word perspective when I talk about my experiences in education.  I've taken a unique route to becoming Principal at Hillcrest and I wouldn't change a thing,” Towner said. “I believe the different districts and positions I've been in throughout my 24 years in education have provided me with a unique perspective that District 228 is truly a great place to work, and we provide great experiences for our students.”


Aside from being an administrator, Towner is a husband, father, and enjoys playing golf. He has been married to his wife, Tari, for nearly 23 years. Towner has a son named Ryan, who is entering his junior year at Purdue University, and a son named Jack, who is going to be a senior at Lincoln-Way West High School. Towner’s hobbies revolve around his sons’ soccer and track involvement, and with that ending soon, he plans to spend his free time golfing, and hanging out on his boat. 


Eric Washington was the Bremen High School Athletic Director for eight years. He is excited to make a switch over to Hillcrest High School, and has spent most of the summer trying to familiarize himself with his new role. 


“I am very excited to take on a new challenge. I’m looking forward to building lasting relationships with the Hillcrest students, staff and community,” Washington said. “The students and staff have been very welcoming, and I appreciate that.”


Maricha Matthews, Special Education teacher, case manager and lead teacher in the CORE Behavior Program, is being welcomed as the newest Dean of Students, Freshmen. She is a proud graduate of Hillcrest High School - Class of 2000.


Matthews is ready to take on the role, and said she is looking forward to working with Freshmen to appropriately transition from elementary school to high school, and help them prepare their educational foundation. 


“Hillcrest has always been home for me. I remember coming back here on breaks from college and being able to go into classrooms to talk about my college experience,” Matthews said. “I love that the Hawk Family is that- a family. The student’s energy is electric!”


The first day of the 2022-23 school year will be Aug. 16.

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