Faith Cole

Faith Cole (Oak Park Elementary School District 97, Handout / May 20, 2014)

The Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Board approved hiring two new principals for Mann and Whittier schools last week..

The district hired Faith Cole, assistant principal of Percy Julian Middle School, to be principal of Mann Elementary School; and Keshia Warner, principal of Chicago's John B. Drake Elementary School, to be principal of Whittier Elementary School in Oak Park, according to a District 97 news release.

Cole replaces Sam LeDeaux, who recently announced in a joint statement with Superintendent Al Roberts that he would resign when his contract expires at the end of the school year. LeDeaux became principal at Mann in July 2012.

Parents protested LeDeaux's exit, saying they liked his innovative approach to education administration, such as "no worksheet weeks," in which he encouraged Mann teachers to forgo the use of worksheets while maintaining standard work loads.

Warner would replace Carol Young, who started work in the district as a special education teacher in 1986 and is retiring.

Both hires will start one-year contracts July 1, according to the release. Cole's base salary will be $108,000, and Warner's will be $120,000, the release states.

—Wes Venteicher, Tribune reporter