Education

Belleville School District 118 picks its next superintendent

Belleville District 118 Superintendent Matt Klosterman

Matt Klosterman took a few minutes Wednesday to talk about his long history and shorter future at Belleville District 118. He will retire after the 2018-2019 school year, but expects to remain a familiar face to Belleville children.
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Matt Klosterman took a few minutes Wednesday to talk about his long history and shorter future at Belleville District 118. He will retire after the 2018-2019 school year, but expects to remain a familiar face to Belleville children.

After more than two decades working in Belleville School District 118, soon Assistant Superintendent Ryan Boike will lead it.

Boike was picked this week to become the district’s next superintendent, starting July 1, 2019. Superintendent Matt Klosterman is retiring at the end of the school year after 28 years in District 118.

“I think I’m inheriting the district in a really good place,” Boike said Wednesday. He credited Klosterman’s leadership and improvements in funding for that.

District 118 is by far the largest elementary school district in Belleville, with more than 3,800 students and more than 200 teachers, according to state data.

It is also seeing one of the biggest increases in state funding among local districts since Illinois changed the way it funds public education.

This academic year, District 118 expected to receive $1.6 million more from Illinois than it had the year before, for a total of $19.7 million in state funding now.

Even though a proposed sales tax increase to provide money for school repairs failed in the April 2017 election, Boike said District 118 was able to do $20 million in construction at several schools, which is wrapping up now.

Some are getting new classrooms and more secure entrances, including Abraham Lincoln School, Union School and West Junior High School, according to Boike. Union and Abe Lincoln are also getting new gyms.

Two decades in Belleville schools and counting

Boike said he feels like he’s grown up in Belleville School District 118.

He started his career there as a science teacher at Central Junior High School in 1997, according to a letter to parents announcing his new role. He also spent one year as a dean of students, seven as principal and 12 as assistant superintendent.

“Community and school members know him well since he has served the Belleville District 118 community for the past 22 years,” school board president Judi Keplar wrote in the message to district families. “... Please help us congratulate Dr. Boike for his appointment as our next Superintendent of schools.”

One of his goals as superintendent is for District 118 to be recognized by the state for its academic achievement. District 118’s schools received the state’s second-highest ranking earlier this year under a new accountability system, which is based in part on test scores.

“I think my No. 1 goal is I want every child to get the best education,” Boike said. “No one sends their kid to school for the second-best education.”

Boike earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as well as a doctorate in education from Saint Louis University.

His new salary as District 118’s leader will be $172,000, a $32,500 per year increase from his existing salary of $139,550.

The metro-east is home for investigative reporter Lexi Cortes. She was raised in Granite City, went to school in Edwardsville and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat since 2014, winning multiple state awards for her investigative and community service reporting.


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