New leaders for local private schools

New leaders for local private schools

Several local private schools have new administrators this year, and The News-Gazette caught up with some of them to ask them about themselves, their jobs and their hopes for the future.

Here's how they responded.

Christina Ellis

Principal at Holy Cross School in Champaign

Age: 42

Recent work history: Assistant principal at Holy Trinity Catholic School, Bloomington, for seven years, and teacher at Tri-Valley CUSD #3, Downs, for eight years.

What made you want to work in this position? Holy Cross School lays a foundation of truth, love and holiness. I am privileged to be a part of a faith-centered community fostering lives of service, integrity and life-long learning.

What are your goals for this position? Ensuring that Christ is the reason for the school, my goals are to build on the strong foundations laid at Holy Cross School, serve the community and teach the truths of our Catholic faith and traditions.

Tami Adams

Director of Campus Middle School for Girls in Urbana

Age: 34

Recent work history: I have worked here at Campus Middle School for 21/2 years. Before that, I worked in Ohio and Colorado teaching middle school math.

What made you want to work at this school? I really like the vision of CMS. It is amazing to see what these girls are exposed to and the opportunities that we provide through relationships with members of the University (of Illinois) community. It runs like a close-knit family and it is fun to be here.

What are your goals for the school? To continue to provide a safe, academically rich learning environment that encourages girls explore all aspects of the world around them. I would also like to increase our presence in the community. It is surprising to me how few know about our school.

Joel Burgener

Principal at St. John Lutheran School in Champaign

Age: 31

Recent work history: Science teacher and football coach, Centennial High School.

What made you want to work in this position? One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was a quality Lutheran education. Growing up in such a loving, Christ-centered community really cemented a firm foundation for me to better navigate our uncertain world. St. John, my home church, is that kind of community. My kids go to St. John (and) my wife is a graduate. I love the school and have enthusiasm for it.

What are your goals for the position? St. John is a wonderful school and I'm proud to serve the church and school. I intend to support our teachers to maintain and elevate our reputation for academic rigor. I also think it is important to foster a true community of our staff, parents, and congregation. I will also strive to nurture an environment for our students that instills a true spirit of service, responsibility and leadership.

Melissa Reder

Principal at St. Thomas School in Philo

Age: Not provided.

Recent work history: I have been a teacher at Thomas Paine (Elementary) in Urbana for 11 years. During my teaching career, I have obtained my master's degree in Administration from the University of Illinois, have become STEM trained through the University of Illinois and completed five years of the Chancellor's Summer Academy. Last summer I had the occasion to co-direct/teach a Girl's Campus Middle School Camp in partnership with the University of Illinois.

What made you want to work in this position? St. Thomas School in Philo is a small community with a lot of love. The teachers and staff are dedicated to doing what is right for each and every child. The families here are committed to going the extra mile for the school as well.

What are your goals for this position? I truly feel blessed to be here, and I hope to grow with the school and community.

Rosemary Costello

Regional coordinator of Catholic education

Age: 63

Recent work history: I have just recently retired from Holy Cross School after 41 years as a teacher and principal in the diocese. Thirty-seven of those years were at Holy Cross School, the last 14 as principal.

What made you want to work in this position? I have a strong commitment to Catholic education having been involved with it in this area for 37 years.

What are your goals for this position? Coordinate collaboration between the high school and the local Catholic grade schools, enhance the visibility and importance of Catholic education in the area, educate families and the community about our area Catholic schools and raise funds to support the programs provided by the area Catholic schools.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (2):Education, People

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