|2009 saw a number of changes to several local schools -- some for reasons known, some not known.
That's one of our top local stories of the year. One local school already has a new superintendent, and two other institutions announced new leaders in 2009 that will start this year.
The one already in place is Paul Woehlke. Woehlke took over in July for Martin Payne in the Monmouth-Roseville School District.
The former finance chief for the Galesburg School District told WGIL in March that finance experience would help him as he took on his first superintendent's job.
"The District (in Monmouth-Roseville) certainly has some financial challenges," Woehlke said. "So there are some aspects of my financial background that will come into play and be a value here. (The Board is) also looking for developing a strategic plan for the district, and I have experience in Galesburg in that."
Woehlke says District 238's finances have been troubled since Monmouth and Roseville consolidated, and a plan is currently being worked on to eliminate a six-figure budget deficit at a time when state funding isn't being paid as promised, and as funding is projected to be cut in the next year.
Former Peoria School District Finance Chief Guy Cahill replaced Woehlke in District-205.
In a move that apparently wasn't done in public like it should, it was learned that the Knoxville School District would not be renewing Doctor Larry Carlton's contract when it expires this June.
The board last month hired Normal University High Assistant Superintendent Stephen Wilder to the over 100-thousand dollar a year position, and told WGIL he's already been thinking about what he needs to do when he takes over.
"My first goal is curriculum and student achievement and where the district is at this point, both across the district, as well as in each building," Wilder said. "That will be a huge focus as I start here. As far as I am concerned, educating students is what schools do first and foremost."
Carlton has since been hired as Superintendent of the Henry, Illinois school district, and District-202 and Carlton haven't much discussed what their differences are.
The other change comes at Carl Sandburg College, where Vice President Doctor Lori Sundberg will ascend to the top job when Tom Schmidt retires in June.
Sundberg is currently Vice President of Academic Services at the college, and started there 15 years ago as an instructor.
Sundberg will be the first female president of the college, and the first graduate of the school to become president, and told WGIL in October that experience as a student should help her.
"The greatest benefit of Carl Sandburg College, I'm a living example of that," Sundberg said. "You can come to (CSC) after high school if you want to go on to college, if you want to pursue an occupational degree, you can come back as a non-traditional student and pursue an occupational degree then, or your baccalaureate degree. It's a community college, so it's for people at all stages of their lives."
A replacement for Sundberg has yet to be named.
(Paul Woehlke greets staff members and members of the Monmouth-Roseville School Board after the board formally hired him in March, 2009.)
(Stephen Wilder will become the new Knoxville School District Superintendent in July, 2010.)
(Dr. Lori Sundberg is greeted in October after formally being named the sixth president of Carl Sandburg College, effective in July, 2010. WGIL News File Photos.)