Education

August 16, 2014

Meet the new administrators who will lead metro-east schools

For David Snider, education is a family tradition. Snider, 50, is the new principal at Collinsville High School this fall. He's been a teacher and administrator in several other districts, most recently in Staunton.

For David Snider, education is a family tradition.

Snider, 50, is the new principal at Collinsville High School this fall. He's been a teacher and administrator in several other districts, most recently in Staunton.

Teaching runs in his family: Both his father and sister are educators.

"I decided to become a teacher because of the relationships and mentors I had, the teachers and coaches throughout high school and college," said Snider, one of more than 20 new school leaders in the metro-east this fall. "I like working with people, and we're definitely in the people business. It's nice to be able to make a difference."

The opportunity to come to Collinsville, with its diverse communities and traditions, was one he couldn't pass up, Snider said.

"We have a lot of opportunities for a lot of students, whether they're on a career path, going to a technical school or a four-year opportunity," he said.

He has been meeting with stakeholders in the community, including some of the 400 members of Collinsville High's student council, in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year.

"Probably my most pressing challenge will be to learn the people and operations of our school district," he said. "It's exciting."

Snider earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1986 and a masters degree from Governor's State University in University Park, Ill., in 1991. Before Staunton, he taught at Manteno High School in Kankakee, Paxton School District near Champaign and been an administrator for Stagg High School in Consolidated High School District 230 in Palos Hills, Ill.

There are many other new faces in school district administration offices and school buildings this year across the metro-east. Here is a look at who the new people are and how they got here:

Belleville School District 118

Assistant Superintendent: Tracy Gray

Age: 43

Residence: O'Fallon

Education: Bachelor's degree in education from Murray State University in Kentucky and master's degree in education administration from Lindenwood University-Belleville.

Career: Assistant regional superintendent of schools in St. Clair County for two years; previously worked for Smithton School District 130 and O'Fallon School District 90.

Belleville School District 118

West Junior High School Principal: Jon Boente

Age: 31

Residence: Swansea

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education; master's degree in education administration, both from SIUE.

Career: Dean of students at West Junior High for four years; teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.

Brooklyn Unit School District 188

Superintendent and Principal: Henrietta Young

Age: 61

Residence: Belleville

Education: Bachelor's degree in English education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a master's degree in educational leadership from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a doctorate of education from St. Louis University.

Career: principal of East Elementary School in Alton Community Unit District 11. Prior to that, she worked as the district's truancy coordinator, as a middle school principal and as an assistant principal.

Cahokia School District 187

Eighth Grade Academy Principal: Melissa Rebmann

Age: 34

Residence: Hamel

Education: Bachelor's and master's degree from Lindenwood University, specialist's degree from SIUE.

Career: Teacher at Cahokia School of Choice, Estelle Sauget Academic Center in Cahokia, Oliver Parks Sixth Grade Center in Cahokia, Riverview Gardens District in St. Louis and Turner Middle School in St. Louis; principal at Huffman Elementary School in Cahokia.

Cahokia School District 187

Huffman Elementary School Principal: Alison Schumacher

Age: 33

Residence: Millstadt

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in educational administration, both from SIUE.

Career: Taught 10 years at District 187 at the following schools: Huffman School, Maplewood School, School of Choice, Penniman School, Eighth Grade Academy and Seventh Grade Academy.

Cahokia School District 187

Lalumier Elementary Principal: LaSandra Chism

Age: 34

Residence: Swansea

Education: Bachelor's degree in speech/language pathology and audiology, master's degree in speech/language pathology, both from Illinois State University; master's degree in education administration from Lindenwood University.

Career: Speech/language pathologist for inpatient and outpatient pediatrics for three years, school-based speech/language pathologist for five years and three years as an assistant principal with District 187.

Collinsville Unit 10

Webster Elementary Principal: Brad Snow

Age: 40

Residence: Troy

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education, masters in instructional technology and specialist certificate in educational administration from SIUE.

Career: Taught fourth grade for three years at Jefferson Elementary; four years teaching sixth grade at Dorris Intermediate, both in Unit 10.

East St. Louis School District 189

Assistant Superintendent: Tina Frye

Age: 54

Residence: Fairview HeightsEducation: Bachelor's degree in educational leadership from Western Illinois University; master's degree in educational administration from Saint Louis University.

Career: Principal of Annette Officer Elementary School, Alta Sita Elementary and Nelson Mandela Elementary; assistant principal at Wyvetter Young School; teacher at Nelson Mandela.

East St. Louis School District 189

Assistant Superintendent: Devon Horton

Age: 37

Residence: Chicago (currently commuting to East St. Louis)

Education: Bachelor's degree from Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.; master's degree in educational leadership from Chicago State University; doctorate in education at Chicago State University.

Career: Principal of Wendell Phillips Academy in Chicago Public Schools; worked at Chicago Public Schools for 14 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

East St. Louis School District 189

Assistant Superintendent: Alexander Ikejiaku

Age: 53

Residence: Springfield (currently commuting to East St. Louis)

Education: Doctorate in educational administration, master's degree in public administration, and bachelor's degree in psychology, all from State University of New York College at Brockport.

Career: Consultant/facilitator of School Board Leadership, LLC; served as director of human resources for Springfield Public Schools for five years; served as principal management analyst for special education and principal management analyst for the budget department with Rochester City School District in New York; worked in city government for 14 years.

East St. Louis School District 189

Annette Officer Elementary Principal: Lori Chalmers

Age: 38

Residence: O'Fallon

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education from Harris-Stowe State University; master's degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University; educational specialist's degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University.

Career: Taught 10 years at Alta Sita Elementary, instructional coach for three years, assistant principal for two years at Officer and Katie Wright Elementary.

East St. Louis District 189

Mason Clark Middle School Principal: Darnell Spencer

Age: 44

Residence: Fairview Heights

Education: Bachelor's degree in special education from SIUE; master's degree in education administration from Lindenwood University.

Career: Special education teacher at Vernice G. Neely Elementary School, assistant principal at East St. Louis Senior High School; various other administrative positions within the district.

East St. Louis District 189

Lincoln Middle School Principal: Eric Harris

Age: 42

Residence: Florissant, Mo.

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa; master's degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University; master's degree in the area of educational specialist from Lindenwood University.

Career: Associate principal at East St. Louis Sr. High School; assistant principal at Mason Clark Middle School; language arts teacher at Lincoln Middle School; teacher at Park Annex Elementary School.

Edwardsville District 7

Director of Student Services and Special Education: Marion Brooks

Age: 39

Residence: Swansea

Education: Bachelor's degree in special education from SIUE; masters degree in education from Maryville University; specialist certificate and doctorate in educational administration from Lindenwood University.

Career: Taught special education at Cahokia schools for four years; taught through the Cahokia-Dupo joint agreement for special education for three years; became director of the Cahokia-Dupo program for six years until its dissolution; special education and certified personnel director at Cahokia for three years.

Granite City District 9

Granite City High School Principal: Daren DePew

Age: 49

Residence: Granite City

Education: Bachelor's degree in education from SIUE; masters degree in education administration from McKendree University

Career: Taught three years at Grigsby Middle School before becoming a teacher and coach at GCHS for 21 years, four of them as athletic director.

Granite City District 9

Maryville Elementary Principal: Mark Lull

Age: 45

Residence: Granite City

Education: Bachelor's degree in education; masters degree in education administration; specialist certification in curriculum design and instruction, all from McKendree University. Currently completing a doctorate in curriculum design and instruction at McKendree.

Career: Twelve years of teaching, first at Blair and Harris elementary schools in Madison District 12, then at several elementary schools and the Early Childhood Center in Granite City District 9

Harmony-Emge School District 175

Emge Junior High School fifth- and sixth-grade principal: Tracy Brown

Age: 38

Residence: O'Fallon

Education: Bachelor's degree from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo.; master's degree in educational leadership from McKendree; master's in school counseling from Lindenwood-Belleville .

Career: Assistant principal at Emge Junior High for two years, administrator for Madison Student Support Center.

Harmony-Emge School District 175

Emge Junior High seventh-and eighth-grade principal: Matt Graham

Age: 40

Residence: Belleville

Education: Bachelor's degree in zoology/botany and master's degree in educational administration, both from Eastern Illinois University-Charleston.

Career: Fifth- through eighth-grade principal in Knoxville, Ill.; kindergarten through 12th-grade principal in Edinburg; dean of students and teacher in Rantoul.

Holy Childhood Catholic School in Mascoutah

Principal: Claudia Dougherty

Residence: St. Louis

Education: Bachelor's degree in health/physical education from Benedictine College in Kansas, master's and specialist's degrees in educational administration, both from Lindenwood University in St. Charles.

Career: Middle school and high school teacher and coach at John Burroughs School in St. Louis, principal at the former St. Mary's School in Belleville, principal at Ste. Genevieve Du Bois School in St. Louis.

Mascoutah Community District 19

Assistant Superintendent: Cindy Presnell

Age: 57

Residence: Lebanon

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education and special education, master's degree in education administration, both from Southeast Missouri State University; graduate level work at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Career: Principal at Scott Elementary School for two years; assistant superintendent, principal and special education director at Farmington School District in Missouri; taught special education at North County R-1 in Bonne Terre, Mo.

Mascoutah Community District 19

Scott Elementary School Principal: Susanne Riechmann

Age: 43

Residence: Okawville

Education: Bachelor's degree from McKendree, master's degree from SIUE.

Career: Assistant principal at Mascoutah High for three years, assistant principal at Scott Elementary for four years, taught math for 15 years at Belle Valley School District 119.

New Athens School District 60

New Athens High School Principal: Dan Lehman

Age: 39

Residence: Marissa

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education from McKendree; master's degree in counseling from Indiana State University; master's degree in school administration from McKendree.

Career: Elementary teacher for nine years in Martinsville and Marshall, Ill.; counselor at Marissa High for eight years; athletic director at Marissa High for five years.

O'Fallon Community Consolidated District 90

Interim Superintendent: Doug Wood

Age: 49

Residence: O'Fallon

Education: Bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in educational administration, both from Illinois State University; doctorate in administrative leadership and counseling psychology from Loyola University in Chicago.

Career: Principal of Amelia Carriel Junior High in O'Fallon and Fulton Junior High in O'Fallon; principal at Gower Middle School in Burr Ridge; administrator at Parkside Junior High in Normal; teacher at Hickory Creek Middle School in Frankfort.

O'Fallon District 90

Amelia Carriel Junior High interim principal: Ellen Hays

Age: 44

Residence: O'Fallon

Education: Bachelor's degree in biological sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a master's degree in educational leadership at McKendree University.

Career: Assistant principal at Carriel, seventh-grade science teacher at the school; teacher at Freeburg High; biology teacher at Centralia High School.

St. James Catholic School in Millstadt

Principal: Steve Kidd

Age: 47

Residence: Freeburg

Education: Bachelor's degree from SIUE; master's degree in administration at McKendree will be completed in June 2015.

Career: Middle school math teacher for 13 years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School in Herrin.

St. Teresa School in Belleville

Principal: Skip Birdsong

Age: 41

Residence: Granite City

Education: Two master's degrees; working on a doctorate in curriculum, all at McKendree.

Career: Principal at Granite City High School for one year, assistant principal there two years and teacher for four years; taught at St. Elizabeth School in Granite City for one year, program director at Allied Medical College and taught anatomy and science classes for four years.

Triad District 2

Triad Middle School Principal: Matt Noyes

Age: 37

Residence: Troy

Education: Bachelor's degree in elementary education, 1999; masters degree in education instructional technology, 2007; specialist certificate in educational administration, 2009; all from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Career: Taught sixth grade at Triad Middle for nine years; taught fifth grade at C.A. Henning for two years; two years as an elementary school principal in Bond County Unit 2; two years as principal of Dorris intermediate School in Collinsville.

Waterloo Community Unit School District 5

Waterloo High School Principal: Lori Costello

Age: 44

Residence: Smithton

Education: Bachelor's degree from Illinois State University; master's degree in educational leadership from McKendree; chief school business official endorsement and superintendent's endorsement, both from University of Illinois-Springfield.

Career: 14 years in education at Waterloo High including eight years as business education teacher and six years as assistant principal.

Waterloo Community Unit School District 5

Superintendent: Brian Charron

Age: 42

Residence: Waterloo

Education: Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and master's and specialist's degrees from Eastern Illinois University.

Career: 19 years in education, including 16 years in administration; principal at Waterloo High School for four years.

Wolf Branch School District 113

Assistant Superintendent: Nicole Sanderson

Age: 37

Residence: Columbia

Education: Doctorate of education and educational specialist degree in administration, both from Lindenwood University-Belleville; master's degree in educational leadership and bachelor's degree from Saint Louis University.

Career: Taught in Cahokia School District six years; principal at E. Morris Elementary in Cahokia for four years; principal at Wolf Branch Elementary in Swansea for six years.

Wolf Branch School District 113

Wolf Branch Elementary School Principal: Madonna Harris

Age: 49

Residence: Smithton

Education: Bachelor's degree from McKendree University; master's degree in elementary education, principal certification and superintendent specialist degree, all from SIUE.

Career: Worked for Belleville District 118 for 21 years -- taught at Union Elementary, language arts teacher at Central Junior High and dean of students at Central Junior High.

School officials for a number of other new administrators in the metro-east did not respond to requests for information, including: Caseyville and Jefferson elementary schools' principal Kevin Robinson, Dorris Intermediate Principal Kevin Stirnaman, and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment: LaToya Coleman, all with Collinsville Unit 10 School District; and Prather Elementary Principal Erica Venne and Director Elementary Education /Title I administrator Kristen Novacich, both with Granite City District 9.

In addition, the new principal at Grigsby Intermediate School in Granite City District 9, David Keel, resigned shortly before the school year was to begin. Superintendent Jim Greenwald said substitute principal Don Stratton would begin the school year as the district searches for a replacement.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com. Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe. Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com. Additional information contributed by O'Fallon Progress reporter Mark Raeber.

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