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OEHS dean, Plank principal among appointees : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
OEHS dean, Plank principal among appointees
by Natalie Stevens


Four more administrators have been appointed in the Oswego School District before the upcoming school year begins.

Two assistant principals will join at the elementary level, including a familiar face from the across the school community.

Aurora resident Brett Kueker will be the new assistant principal at Wolf's Crossing Elementary School in Aurora. Previously he served as an art teacher at Homestead Elementary School, and prior to that worked as a traveling art teacher at Churchill, Grande Park, and Lakewood Creek elementary schools.

Besides teaching, Kueker served as a teacher mentor, designed and organized the 2013-14 yearbook, served on the Rising Star Committee, the academic intervention team, and the building leadership team in the district.

"The district is excited to bring someone in for this position who has a strong familiarity with our elementary school system," Dr. John Sparlin, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, said. "Mr. Kueker has already demonstrated that he is a strong leader, and will be a great addition to Wolf's Crossing."

Kueker has a bachelor's degree in art education from the University of Iowa and a master's degree in education administration from Concordia University.

Kueker's base salary is salary $57,000, and including TRS contribution his overall salary is $62,913.92.

The other assistant principal appointed is Plainfield resident Samantha Puhala at Old Post Elementary in Oswego.

Puhala previously worked as a summer reading coach and teacher evaluator at Parkland Community College. She was also a first-grade teacher at Chippewa Elementary School in Palos Heights. In those roles she served on the Response to Intervention Committee, the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Systems (PBIS) and the Charlotte Danielson Teacher Evaluation Committee. She was also nominated as a Golden Apple Teacher.

In her new role, Puhala will be responsible for scheduling classes and school activities and assisting department chairs and faculty in compiling budget requests, amongst other duties.

"We are excited to bring Ms. Puhala into School District 308," Sparlin said. "She has a diverse background, which we think will help the students at Old Post succeed."

She earned masters' degrees in school improvement leadership and reading K-12 from Olivet Nazarene University. She received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois.

Puhala will make a base salary of $57,000 and with TRS contribution will have a salary of $62,913.92.

At Plank Junior High, James Martin, of Frankfort, will step into the role of principal, replacing Jamie Max who was recently promoted to the role of Director of Secondary Education in the district.

Previously Martin served as an assistant superintendent of School District 161 in Frankfort. Prior to that he also served as principal at Liberty Junior High School in Burbank. He has also had the role of assistant principal at Summit Junior High School in Frankfort and Central Middle School in Tinley Park.

"Mr. Martin is an experienced and talented administrator who can come into School District 308 and lead from day one," Sparlin said. "His passion is to return to the school environment and directly work with students. We are excited to have him join us."

Martin has a master's degree in educational administration from Governor's State University and a bachelor's degree in history from North Central College.

He will join the district with a base salary of $93,388, and including TRS contribution will receive an overall salary of $103,077.29.

Joining the team at Oswego East High School is new dean Margaret Darnell. She replaces Dan Durbin, who was promoted to assistant principal at Oswego East.

Darnell, a Joliet resident, previously worked as the dean of students at Plainfield East High School, where she also served as the division chair for fine arts and world languages. She also has had classroom experience teaching Spanish one and two.

As dean of students, Darnell will oversee and resolve matters related to student attendance and discipline, as well as provide support and problem-solving assistance to individual students, parents and staff.

"Ms. Darnell is an ideal candidate with several admirable attributes," Sparlin said. "She will serve as an excellent resource for our OEHS students. We are looking forward to her arrival."

Darnell has a master's degree in educational leadership and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of North Dakota.

She will receive a base salary of $60,000 and with the district's TRS contribution will have an overall salary of $66,225.18.

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