Humans of DGN: Dr. Courtey DeMent


Courtesy of Dgnactivites

Dr. DeMent poses with Trojan Man after the assembly on the first day of school.

Maggie Ward, Editor-in-Chief


Dr. Courtney DeMent did not want to be an educator. Initially, she dreamed of being a nurse and defying the legacy of her mother who had climbed the totem pole of high school faculty, having been a teacher, dean, principal, and eventually a superintendent. It wasn’t until she realized that chemistry was way too challenging that she gave in to the temptation of education and chose a career path that included some of her biggest passions: leadership, education, and growth. 

 “I think all people here have the capacity to be a leader and I’m really passionate about growing leadership in all different areas,” DeMent said. “[My mom] is a really good sounding board, even though I tease her about getting out of touch and getting old; but she is very skilled in the area of growing leaders.”

After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree from Bradley University, DeMent taught and worked at Addison Trail High School for 19 years before accepting the Principal position at DGN. Although the transition was scary at first, she’s grateful that took a chance at this principal opportunity. 

“I debated a lot about whether to throw my hat in for this job; [however, I] ultimately I knew I was going to kick myself if I didn’t try it,” Dement said. “You wouldn’t think that there are so many differences between being an assistant principal and a principal but there is; you shoulder the burden of a lot of things.”

She had been familiar with many of the administrators at North through West Suburban conference meetings when she worked at Addison Trail, making the interviewing process a little more comfortable. 

“I felt really good about the kind of questions they were asking and I knew that those philosophies behind those questions aligned a lot with mine,” DeMent said.  

As she transitions fully into the Trojan way of life, one of the aspects DeMent is most impressed with is DGN’s school culture. She believes that with our new learning spaces and the school spirit she has seen, DGN can make an even greater impact on the Downers Grove community. 

“Growing our school culture is really important to me. I say ‘growing’ because we have this wonderful foundation. I want to continue that momentum and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can do that in a lot of different ways. I think it’s important to carry on [with] tradition but also make some new traditions of our own.”

Personal, educational and community growth are all concepts DeMent hopes to take advantage of during her time as principal. Connecting the village of Downers Grove to the community within the walls of DGN is one of her main goals as she enters the second semester. 

“I really like the school spirit I am seeing and I am continually impressed by the students and staff. The [Downers Grove] community is really proud of this high school and so proud of the students that are here.” DeMent said. “I want to capitalize on that and create more connections with the community so that they can come here and see all of the great work we are doing and so [students] can go out and make a difference.”

As a leader, DeMent is ready to tackle any obstacles that come her way with the support of staff, her mom, and the D99 administration. As she maneuvers the career change she reminds herself of lessons she has learned in regards to communicating with peers throughout her career. 

“People aren’t here to intentionally make your life more difficult. We are working with kids who come from a lot of different backgrounds, who have a lot of different ideas, and different things they bring to the table, same with our staff,” DeMent said. “That helps me come down a level and look at the situation a little more objectively as a leader.”