Oswego 308 has hired nine new administrators for the teaching and learning team. These administrators were hired to fill vacant positions - made vacant through either retirement, resignation, or transfer within and outside the district.
Teaching and Learning Administrative Team
Dr. Judith Minor, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
Dr. Judith Minor was hired in May 2013 as assistant superintendent to advance the teaching and learning of District 308 students. She provides leadership and support to staff, and she partners with external stakeholders. Her previous positions included assistant superintendent for student learning, Community High School District 99, director of staff support services, Township High School District, and director of curriculum, instruction, and staff development, Community High School District 94.
She received her doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University, Chicago, and a master’s of education in curriculum and instruction and interdisciplinary studies from National-Louis University, Evanston. She also holds a secondary education teaching certification from North Central College and a bachelor’s in English from McKendree University, Lebanon, Illinois.
Dr. Lisa Smith, Director of Elementary Education
As assistant director of Elementary education, Dr. Lisa Smith is responsible for all aspects of instructional leadership that support teaching and learning from early childhood through junior high.
She received her doctorate of educational administration from Aurora University, Chicago, her master’s in educational administration from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, and her bachelor’s in elementary education, remedial reading from William Penn College, Oskaloosa, Iowa. She also holds a Type 75 General Administration and Superintendent Certificate.
She was a classroom teacher for 13 years before joining administration in 1996, where she has held the positions of principal, assistant superintendent of personnel, and assistant superintendent of human resources.
Melissa McDowell, Assistant Director of Elementary Education
Melissa McDowell earned her bachelor's in elementary education from Illinois State University, Normal, and her master's in educational leadership from Aurora University, Chicago. She worked as a fifth grade teacher in the Valley View Community School District for the past nine years.
She is also an adjunct faculty member for the course Multicultural Literature for Children and Adolescents at Benedictine University. She has always had a passion for making a difference in the lives of children and strives to provide the best education possible to support their path to success. One of her two children attends school in the district.
Dr. Edsel Clark, Director of Secondary Education
As the director of Secondary Education, Dr. Edsel Clark works with and supports administrators and teacher leaders in all aspects of curriculum, instruction, and educational programs at the junior and senior high levels.
Before joining District 308, he worked as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in the LaSalle-Peru Township High School District, as assistant principal for operations and curriculum and instruction at Metea Valley High School in the Indian Prairie School District, as Mathematics Department chair at Glenbard North High School, and as a teacher of Mathematics at Glenbard North and Naperville North High Schools.
He received his doctorate in educational leadership from Aurora University, Chicago, a master's in educational leadership from Benedictine University, Lisle, and a bachelor’s in math education from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He hopes to positively impact students and adults in building a future together. Two of his three children attend school in the district.
Michael Purcell, Assistant Director of Secondary Education
Before joining the District 308 team, Mike Purcell worked as the assistant principal for Washington Junior High School and as the director of summer learning for Naperville Community Unit School District 203. Purcell received his Bachelor’s of Science from Indiana’s Purdue University before pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration from Loyola University, Chicago. He also has a Type 75 Certification from North Central College.
Mary Redding, Director of Special Education
As director of Special Education, Mary Redding works with Kendall County Special Education Cooperative and the teaching and learning team to oversee the delivery of services for special education students. She holds a Type 75 Administration Certificate with a director of special education endorsement.
She earned her master’s in teaching special education from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, and her bachelor’s in elementary and special education from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Prior to joining the District 308, Redding served as the assistant principal for student services and as the head of special education for Buffalo Grove High School, High School District 214.
She was also assistant principal in Community Consolidated School District 15, Palatine, for both Conyers Learning Academy and Kimball Hill Elementary. Redding chose a career in administration after spending years in the classroom because she felt it would be the most efficient way to help people understand how best to support all learners achieve their highest potential.
Amanda Clark, Director of Special Programs
As director of Special Programs, Amanda Clark is responsible for the English Language Learners, Academically Talented, and Parent Outreach programs. She has a bachelor’s in math education and a master’s in educational leadership.
Before coming to District 308, she was principal of Frederick Nerge Elementary School in Schaumburg School District 54, Parsons Elementary and Johns Hill Magnet School in the Decatur school district. She was also the gifted coordinator at Mount Zion Community Unit School District 3. Prior to joining administration, she worked as a math teacher and department chair at Stephen Decatur Middle School.
She brings with her a wealth of experience working in special programs as well as a passion for helping struggling and gifted students reach their highest potential through engagement in rigorous, hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities.
Dr. Kellie Sanders, Director of Professional Development and Training
As director of Professional Development and Training, Dr. Kellie Sanders is responsible for the professional development of all district employees and the mentoring program for teachers and education administrators.
She received her doctorate in educational administration from Aurora University, Chicago, her master’s in educational administration and bachelor’s in general studies in health education from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. She worked as a health and science instructor from 1991 to 2002 before joining the ranks of administrators.
She served as assistant principal for Flinn Middle School, Rockford, and as principal for Littlejohn Elementary School, DeKalb, Jackson Elementary School, Elmhurst, and Walker’s Grove Elementary School, Plainfield. She believes her role is to facilitate learning for both children and adults and has supported educators in improving both their professional practice and engaged learning strategies.
Eric Watt, Assistant Director of Professional Development and Training
Eric Watt received his bachelor’s degree from Millikin University, Decatur, and his master’s from Concordia University, Chicago. Watt taught chemistry, physics, and zoology at Carmel Catholic High School and chemistry, biology, and advanced lab science at Bolingbrook High School before accepting a position with District 308.
Proficient in technology, Watt is known for using the flipped classroom model of using the internet to increase interaction and personalized contact time between students and teacher. He is a 2013 nominee for the Heart of the School: Technology award from the Chicago Archdiocese. He relishes those light-bulb moments and seeing students succeed.
Dr. Brenda Dixon, Director of Assessment Data and Accountability
Dr. Brenda Dixon began her career in education as an elementary and middle school teacher, but quickly moved into technology and data assessment. She spent five years working as the technology coordinator for John D. Shoop Academy, Chicago.
Following that position, she served as director of assessment and accountability for the Plainfield Community Consolidated School District and as the director of research and evaluation for the Wayzata Independent School District.
She has a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, a master’s in teaching from National-Louis University, Evanston, a master’s in educational administration from Governors State University, University Park, and a doctorate in education and educational administration for Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.
Information provided by Oswego 308