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January 18, 2023 / Multiple Schools

Dr. Palmisano to retire October, 2025; Dr. Brian Graber to serve as superintendent July 1, 2025


At its January 17, 2023 meeting, the District 45 Board of Education announced Superintendent Dr. Tony Palmisano’s intent to retire on October 1, 2025, and to step down as superintendent at the conclusion of the 2024-25 school year.

Dr. Palmisano began his teaching career with District 45 in 1992 as a seventh and eighth-grade language arts teacher at Jackson Middle School. After three years as assistant principal, Dr. Palmisano became the principal at Jackson Middle School. Currently in his 10th year as superintendent, Dr. Palmisano will serve as superintendent for two more school years before retiring on October 1, 2025.

“My greatest joy has been the opportunity to observe and watch the achievements of our students,” said Dr. Palmisano. “I continue to be inspired and motivated by the work that lies ahead, the commitment of our leadership, teachers and staff, and what I know we can achieve for our students in the next two and a half years.”

District 45 Board of Education President Judy Degnan expressed the Board’s gratefulness to Dr. Palmisano for his commitment to the District and for providing the Board with considerable advance notice of his retirement so they could outline a solid transition plan for the next Superintendent.

“We look forward to working together with Dr. Palmisano and continuing to support him so that we can continue the work he has started, and we look forward to many amazing things to come,” said Degnan.

At the meeting, the Board of Education also approved a four-year contract for Dr. Brian Graber for the period from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2027. For the period of July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2025, Dr. Graber will continue in his role as assistant superintendent for human resources. Beginning July 1, 2025, Dr. Graber will serve as superintendent for School District 45.

Dr. Graber began his employment in District 45 in 2019 as assistant superintendent for human resources. In this role, he has built strong relationships with the District 45 Board of Education, his peers, teachers and staff, and the community.

“After our discussions with Dr. Graber over the past few months, we strongly believe that promoting Dr. Graber to the position of Superintendent on July 1, 2025, is in the very best interest of the district. His experience in the classroom, as a principal, and an administrator within our district is a benefit that we could not pass up,” said Degnan.

“Granting Dr. Graber a multi-year contract at this time ensures that we will continue to have the continuity of a strong administrative team, will continue the district on our Mission and Vision and will provide the district with a smooth transition into the future.”

Prior to his employment with District 45, Dr. Graber served as an elementary principal for ten years, a middle school assistant principal for three years, and a classroom teacher for seven years.

Dr. Graber holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in school leadership and earned his doctorate in educational leadership.