Aurora -- New Aurora High School Principal Paul Milcetich is enthused about taking over the position and trying to make improvements, but he also knows the district already is in "excellent" shape.

Milcetich succeeded Mike Roberto, who will become assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Milcetich's hiring was unanimously approved May 18 by the Aurora Board of Education. He will earn $107,000 annually, when he takes over Aug. 1.

Milcetich acknowledged it won't be easy "to join a district that is already great and make it even greater.

"What opportunities can I provide to make the school flourish more? How can I help build the school more?" he said. "I have some ideas. Some of it is continuing the culture and climate and what is established here. At the base, it's really all about the students."

Milcetich said Roberto was correct when he "referred to the school as a greenhouse, using the symbolism of students as plants or trees that are growing.

"We will continue to give the students the best learning environment and they will grow," he said. "I know that is true at Aurora High School and in the entire district."

Milcetich stressed that technology and computer programing are important.

"How do we use the tools that are there? How do we collaborate and make the tools more relevant?" he said. "That's what schools are about. How do we help the students more?

"One of biggest shifts is students don't go to school just to have a language imported on them," he said. "We have all this information available. We teach them how to learn. That is the big shift, and the tools are there for that shift to happen."

Milcetich said the Aurora school district has always had "a tradition of excellence.

"The district is excellent in so many different ways," he said. "I've watched the district from a distance. It's an amazing place. The excellence is on the uptrend. You have to continue and increase the trajectory of that excellence.

"The district has an amazing faculty and staff. There are a lot of wonderful pieces in place."

Milcetich said he is meeting and working with the staff. "The more I learn, the more I am impressed by district," he said.

After teaching at Solon High for seven years, Milcetich, 37, became an assistant principal at Kent Roosevelt for two years, then a unit principal at Hudson High for four years and principal at Hudson's East Woods Elementary (grades 4-5) for two years.

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