The hiring of two new Sedalia School District 200 administrators was approved during Monday’s Board of Education meeting, and both have ties to the city and the district.
Joseph Doyle will be the new assistant principal for Smith-Cotton High School for the 2014-15 school year. Doyle will replace Ted Suhr, who is moving back into the classroom as an art teacher at Smith-Cotton Junior High. Brett Hieronymus was named as assistant principal at SCJH for the 2014-15 school year. He replaces Jennifer Holland, who is leaving the district to become lead curriculum developer and professional development consultant for the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.
Doyle is familiar with his new district, although the building may be a little new to him — he’s a 2003 graduate of SCHS.
“Sedalia provides me a unique opportunity to pursue a career goal and to return home,” he said. “Sedalia is where I grew up, went to school, where I graduated from. When the job became available it was certainly a privilege to come home. It’s been a career goal to become an administrator or principal, and to meet that goal and to be able to do it at the same place I graduated from, there’s something special to be said about that.”
He’s spent the last five years as a science and social studies teacher at Cherokee Middle School in Springfield, as well as a track coach. He comes to his new position with some administrative experience though. He was the building principal for the summer school program last year, a position he has again this summer. He’ll finish up with that responsibility before transitioning to Sedalia on July 1, making for a busy summer.
As for goals, his first is to get to know the staff and students.
“I think just building positive relationships with teachers and students as quickly as possible,” Doyle said. “Just getting to know the staff and students is going to be critical to success.
“I’m looking forward to being back home and to be able to contribute to the district that gave me so much growing up as a kid. I’m looking forward to growing as a professional and an administrator. I’d like to see Smith-Cotton as a whole and see student achievement as a whole improve across the board.”
Hieronymus isn’t returning to his alma mater, but he is returning to the district that gave him his start in education. He began his career as a social studies teacher at Smith-Cotton High School from 1999 to 2001, then moved on to teach social studies at Knob Noster High School. In 2006 he became principal of Northwest High School in Hughesville, and then returned to Knob Noster to take an assistant principal role at the high school. He was later principal of Knob Noster Middle School from 2011 to 2013.
He and his family have spent the last year living in Arizona where he and his wife opened a branch of a youth flag football company owned by his brother-in-law. However, he said it’s time for his family to return “home.”
“We have three kids, and we’ve been down here a year, the business is going fine, but I miss the day to day interaction with kids,” Hieronymus said. “We’ve also noticed there’s a lot of people here, and we want to raise our kids in a smaller community. That’s where we’re from. It was a no brainer when there was the opportunity to get back in Sedalia, especially in the district. We were all over that.”
Hieronymus will also have a busy summer. The flag football season ends in May, and they will stay in Arizona until the end of the school year, as his wife is a teacher. Then they’ll head back to Sedalia in time for him to start working July 1. He’s been speaking with SCJH Principal Jason Curry about his new position, and he said he’s excited to work with the Bring Your Own Device program and other technology programs in the district.
Along with his previous experience with Sedalia 200 staff — he worked with Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett when he was a teacher and with Superintendent Brad Pollitt when he was a principal — Hieronymus also brings experience as an administrator.
“I can bring some insight and experience. I’ve been part of administration teams, and I’ve been the only administrator,” he said. “Whatever Mr. Curry will need as far as the team goes, that’s the role I’ll take. I’m looking forward to hopping in there and being part of that team and helping those kids. It’s a homecoming, when I started that’s where I started. I was on the second floor teaching social studies and as a coach. It’ll be like coming home.”