Chodl to depart

Chodl to depart

THOMAS RISINGER LEAD NEWS EDITOR

After 15 years of working at ASL, Dean of Students Joe Chodl will be leaving the school following the culmination of the 2013-2014 school year, citing a felicitous moment in the lives of his wife and children to make this change.

“My wife and I have two kids, Michael in grade four and Nicholas in K2, and we thought that this was an opportune moment for us and our family to make the decision to move back to the US,” Chodl said.

Chodl also acknowledged the importance of being geographically close to his extended family after his lengthy time abroad. “As anyone who is [in London] for a long time comes to understand, when you are over here for a long time, you aren’t as close with your extended family. As grandparents get older, you want your kids to spend more time with them,” he said.

For this reason, Chodl and his family will probably be moving back to Chicago where his extended family lives. “Most likely we will end up in Chicago. My wife and I are both from Chicago, and it’s where our families are from,” he said.

Originally, Chodl did not come to London for his own work. “[We] came here because of my wife. She worked for Reuters and her job brought us here. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to work, but I need to. I’m not a walk-in-the-park kind of guy,” he said.

Chodl began his time at ASL as a substitute teacher before moving to his current role as Dean of Students . Upon arrival, Chodl found the school environment to be very different from what it is now. “When I first got here, there was a different type of student population––a less responsible one. A lot more people were into the drug scene, into the real heavy pub scene. There was a shift while I was here. The school has changed and grown up,” he said.

Accordingly, Chodl believes his emphasis on discipline has softened over the years. “[Students] think I sit in here and close down parties. Back then, I used to go seek out things: Walk over to The Star to make sure we weren’t drinking beer at lunch time, or down to The Arcade to find kids smoking,” he said.

As time has gone by, Chodl has seen marked improvements in the school and student life. “I have been here for awhile, and I think the school right now is in a fantastic place,” he said. “The opportunities for students to go out and thrive are huge. We never had the local connections that we do right now, and if you want to do service you can do it. I think our arts department has grown and grown and offers such a great opportunity for students who want to thrive in that direction.”

Chodl to depart

This growth though, has come with a cost, and Chodl sees downsides to such a wide variety of opportunities for students. “We offer so much that we almost offer too much––students can go off and overscribe themselves. Maybe we shouldn’t have given you all those choices, but it’s a good problem,” he said.

Throughout his time at ASL, Chodl has also coached varsity boys basketball. Coming from the Chicago Catholic League, he was at first surprised by the level of basketball played at ASL. “Coming from Chicago Catholic league, we played ball. Last game we played we had 13,000 people were watching. My first year here I coached JV basketball, which was the worst team I have ever coached in my life,” he said.

Basketball has remained consistent throughout Chodl’s time at ASL. “Basketball has been the constant through it all, and it has always been a big part of who I am. When I first came out of college and took a job out of high school, I thought I was 95 percent basketball coach and 5 percent educator but now it is the other way, well 5 and a half. I really like basketball,” he said.

The process to find a replacement for Chodl is currently underway. Principal Jack Phillips said, “We have been receiving applicants for the position, and there have been [applicants] from within the school and people from other international schools, people at all different capacities.” The title Dean of Students will no longer be the official title of the position. Instead the position will be renamed to Director of Student Life. Phillips sees the job’s primary responsibility to foster community throughout the high school. He said, “I see the Director of Student Life as an incredibly important role to foster our community and our community spirit. To look for new ways for students to interact with others.”

Phillips hopes that the hiring process will be finished by january. “[Our] timeline is [to have] a decision in early january, I can’t underscore how important I see this role. and so it is very important to do it right and not rush anything, but we want to make sure the decision is established early for next year.”

After such a long time in London, it has been a difficult decision for Chodl and his family to move back. “[We] always knew this time would come. It’s a hard decision and we feel very connected to London and to ASL. I work here and I coach here,” he said.

Chodl is confident he is leaving the high school in the best shape it has ever been in. “I speak to parents at coffees and I have been able to tell parents truthfully that I think the high school is in a better place than it ever has been.”

 

 LEAD NEWS EDITOR

After 15 years of working at ASL, Dean of Students Joe Chodl will be leaving the school following the culmination of the 2013-2014 school year, citing a felicitous moment in the lives of his wife and children to make this change.

“My wife and I have two kids, Michael in grade four and Nicholas in K2, and we thought that this was an opportune moment for us and our family to make the decision to move back to the US,” Chodl said.

Chodl also acknowledged the importance of being geographically close to his extended family after his lengthy time abroad. “As anyone who is [in London] for a long time comes to understand, when you are over here for a long time, you aren’t as close with your extended family. As grandparents get older, you want your kids to spend more time with them,” he said.

For this reason, Chodl and his family will probably be moving back to Chicago where his extended family lives. “Most likely we will end up in Chicago. My wife and I are both from Chicago, and it’s where our families are from,” he said.

Originally, Chodl did not come to London for his own work. “[We] came here because of my wife. She worked for Reuters and her job brought us here. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to work, but I need to. I’m not a walk-in-the-park kind of guy,” he said.

Chodl began his time at ASL as a substitute teacher before moving to his current role as Dean of Students . Upon arrival, Chodl found the school environment to be very different from what it is now. “When I first got here, there was a different type of student population––a less responsible one. A lot more people were into the drug scene, into the real heavy pub scene. There was a shift while I was here. The school has changed and grown up,” he said.

Accordingly, Chodl believes his emphasis on discipline has softened over the years. “[Students] think I sit in here and close down parties. Back then, I used to go seek out things: Walk over to The Star to make sure we weren’t drinking beer at lunch time, or down to The Arcade to find kids smoking,” he said.

As time has gone by, Chodl has seen marked improvements in the school and student life. “I have been here for awhile, and I think the school right now is in a fantastic place,” he said. “The opportunities for students to go out and thrive are huge. We never had the local connections that we do right now, and if you want to do service you can do it. I think our arts department has grown and grown and offers such a great opportunity for students who want to thrive in that direction.”

This growth though, has come with a cost, and Chodl sees downsides to such a wide variety of opportunities for students. “We offer so much that we almost offer too much––students can go off and overscribe themselves. Maybe we shouldn’t have given you all those choices, but it’s a good problem,” he said.

Throughout his time at ASL, Chodl has also coached varsity boys basketball. Coming from the Chicago Catholic League, he was at first surprised by the level of basketball played at ASL. “Coming from Chicago Catholic league, we played ball. Last game we played we had 13,000 people were watching. My first year here I coached JV basketball, which was the worst team I have ever coached in my life,” he said.

Basketball has remained consistent throughout Chodl’s time at ASL. “Basketball has been the constant through it all, and it has always been a big part of who I am. When I first came out of college and took a job out of high school, I thought I was 95 percent basketball coach and 5 percent educator but now it is the other way, well 5 and a half. I really like basketball,” he said.

The process to find a replacement for Chodl is currently underway. Principal Jack Phillips said, “We have been receiving applicants for the position, and there have been [applicants] from within the school and people from other international schools, people at all different capacities.” The title Dean of Students will no longer be the official title of the position. Instead the position will be renamed to Director of Student Life. Phillips sees the job’s primary responsibility to foster community throughout the high school. He said, “I see the Director of Student Life as an incredibly important role to foster our community and our community spirit. To look for new ways for students to interact with others.”

Phillips hopes that the hiring process will be finished by january. “[Our] timeline is [to have] a decision in early january, I can’t underscore how important I see this role. and so it is very important to do it right and not rush anything, but we want to make sure the decision is established early for next year.”

After such a long time in London, it has been a difficult decision for Chodl and his family to move back. “[We] always knew this time would come. It’s a hard decision and we feel very connected to London and to ASL. I work here and I coach here,” he said.

Chodl is confident he is leaving the high school in the best shape it has ever been in. “I speak to parents at coffees and I have been able to tell parents truthfully that I think the high school is in a better place than it ever has been.”

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