New South High Fine Arts Department Chair to Start July 1

New South High Fine Arts Department Chair to Start July 1

After an extensive search that included a 16-member panel consisting of administrators, department chairs, teachers, parents and students, Downers Grove South High School has named Justin Barnish as the fine arts department chair for the 2024-25 school year. At its meeting Monday night, the Board of Education approved hiring Barnish, who will start his role in District 99 on July 1, 2024.

“Our fine arts program is part of the fabric of our school community, and we are fortunate to welcome Justin to lead it,” said DGS Principal Arwen Lyp. “He has extensive talent and experience, and as a DGS graduate, he knows our culture well!”

Barnish has served as the Music Department Chair and Band Director at Lincoln-Way North and Lincoln-Way West High Schools since 2012.

"It's a tremendous honor to be returning to Downers Grove South, and I am excited to join the vibrant arts community that inspired me as a student.  I am passionate about fostering creativity and artistic excellence among my students, and I look forward to collaborating with the talented teachers and students to further elevate the DGS Fine Arts Programs,” said Barnish. “As an alumnus, Downers Grove South holds a special place in my heart, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to its continued success.”

Following his graduation from Downers Grove South High School, Barnish earned his bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Concordia University.

Visit DGS Fine Arts for more information about the school and its fine arts program.