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Meridian Welcomes New Leaders

At Thursday’s Board meeting Meridian 223’s Board of Education is expected to approve a multi-year contract for the position of Director of Learning/Principal at Monroe Center Elementary School. Mrs. Deana Simpson will be welcomed into the position left vacant by Sarah Hogan’s transition to a neighboring district. Superintendent, Dr. PJ Caposey noted the district was looking for a candidate with the following qualities and Mrs. Simpson is a perfect fit:

• Loves the district and has the potential to stay for many years
• Deeply understands elementary instruction and pedagogy
• Has the ability and willingness to form meaningful relationships
• Believes in Leader in Me and the other initiatives taking place in Meridian 223 (STAR and MyON)
• Cares deeply enough to engage in difficult conversations about both culture and instruction
• Has integrity, vision, and is a self-starter
• Has the talent and capacity to help the Leadership Team achieve its vision

Mrs. Simpson is still completing her principal certification, so her title for the 2018-2019 school-year will be that of Director of Learning and Superintendent Caposey will serve as the principal of the building, however, Mrs. Simpson will be running day-to-day operations. Once the certification is complete, Mrs. Simpson’s title will change to Principal. 
Caposey stated, “I have the upmost confidence in Deana. I do not think she has the potential to be good, I believe she has the potential to be truly great. Her commitment to our district, and Monroe Center in particular, is incredible. I cannot wait to see where we go under her leadership. “


Meridian has also been able to use the additional revenue generated though the Evidence-Based Funding formula to create two new positions and decrease class sizes for Kindergarten through 5th grade. This positions will assume leadership roles in the district, but are not administrative in nature. The two new positions are that of a College and Career Coordinator and a K-8 Math Coach. Both positions fit directly into Meridian’s strategic plan and will provide direct support to students and teachers. 
A brief profile of each leader is provided below.

Mrs. Beth Kleinschmidt – K-8 Math Coach

Mrs. Kleinschmidt has long-served as the SVHS Math Department Division Leader and will now take on the task of aligning our K-8 Math curriculum and providing support to teachers. Mrs. Kleinschmidt is a well-respected leader in the field of mathematics throughout the state and was even selected to work with ISBE to help set the cut scores for the newly adopted SAT.

Ed Liegl – College and Career Coordinator

Mr. Liegl has served as the English Department Division Leader for many years and is one of the most respected teachers in the district. Mr. Liegl has also led our efforts to support students as they prepare for the ASVAB and other exams. Mr. Liegl will be working to create pathways for college and career with Rock Valley College, other industry partners, and four year colleges and universities. His goal is to provide comprehensive support to our students so that no student leaves SVHS without a plan for their future success.