Congratulations to Dr. Monaghan on his retirement!


Photo provided by Dr. Monaghan.

After decades of dedication and service in leading our school to excellence both in and out of the classroom, Glenbard West Principal Dr. Monaghan is retiring. He leaves behind a legacy of achievement – impacting every student who’s walked these halls.

Like many students graduating from college, Dr. Monaghan wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do after earning his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from DePaul. “At first, I was looking to join the Peace Corps […] I actually think they wanted me to have my wisdom teeth taken out, and I didn’t want to do that. So, I entered into a Master’s program at the University of Illinois.” 

Once Dr. Monaghan received his Master’s, he worked in the city before landing a job at Proviso East as an English teacher. “It was a great school to be an English teacher at – I learned a lot about students.” While Dr. Monaghan thoroughly enjoyed teaching, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply for an opening as the Assistant Dean for Glenbard West in 1995.

In Dr. Monaghan’s opinion, West has come a long way. “I applied, and if the Peter Monaghan from 1995 applied [today], I don’t think that he would become a Dean. Our expectations have really changed.” Dr. Monaghan enjoyed this position, later becoming Assistant Principal of Student Services for nearly a decade until finally becoming Principal in 2013. “Out of all the jobs I’ve had, there’s no question that being Principal is the best.” 

Through his rise to Principal-dom, Dr. Monaghan has experienced significant change (rise in technology, Covid-19, etc.), which challenged traditional methods of learning. “Technology and the pandemic were really connected to each other.” Thanks to the ‘1-to-1 transition’ (1 student to an Ipad) that had happened long before, Dr. Monaghan believes that the difficulties of the pandemic were undercut – especially when compared to less fortunate schools. Dr. Monaghan also highlighted that none of this would be possible without the “responsiveness” of our teachers during the pandemic (amongst other 21st century education challenges). In spite of all the disruption and “change over the last 30 years”, declared Dr. Monaghan, “Glenbard West has never been better”.

Throughout his time here at West, Dr. Monaghan recognizes teachers who engage and inspire students inside and outside of the classroom. When reflecting back, Dr. Monaghan described “so many great individuals” who impacted him, and it being nearly impossible to “pinpoint one”. He also chose to highlight the students and staff at West as what he will cherish the most about his experience. “It’s hard to duplicate the excellence and genuineness” of West’s community, Dr. Monaghan expressed. 

As for his favorite moments here at West, Dr. Monaghan conveyed the importance of Graduations. “It’s a big culminating event”, he describes, where “all of our seniors are so appreciative and respectful” of something with so much “pageantry around it”.

As Dr. Monaghan leaves, Assistant Principal of Student Services Mr. Peterselli will take his place. Dr. Monaghan praises his successor as a “smart guy who is both successful and very forward speaking” – essential traits in their line of work. Dr. Monaghan’s sage advice to both Mr. Peterselli and the West community is “to remain true to who you are.”

In his retirement, Dr. Monaghan looks to continue to find ways to work with young people and “use his brain and credentials”, as he continues to push our community in the right direction. We would like to congratulate Dr. Monaghan on his long and successful career, and hope he has an excellent retirement! We thank you for leaving Glenbard West a much better place than where you found it.