Nearly nine months after his unopposed general election victory, Dr. Kyle Thompson was sworn in as Regional Superintendent on July 1. Surrounded by Regional Office of Education 11 staff, Thompson repeated the oath of office at the Coles County Courthouse as directed by County Clerk Julie Coe.
At 36, Thompson becomes the youngest Regional Superintendent in Illinois.
"People often ask me how the new position is going and they're stunned when I let them know I haven't actually started yet," Thompson said. "The Illinois School Code specifies the start date for the Regional Superintendent, but it boils down to not changing leadership in the middle of a school year and a fiscal year."
While his term is just beginning, Thompson is eager to make the office more efficient and effective.
"We pride ourselves on the services we provide, but we are always looking to improve."
One challenge Thompson hopes to continue attacking is the current teacher shortage.
"We are in a crisis and the current fixes aren't enough to help us in East Central Illinois," he noted. "I encourage anyone even remotely interested in becoming a teacher, a teacher's aide, or a substitute teacher to reach out to our office."
Thompson, who has served as Assistant Regional Superintendent for the past six years, succeeds Dr. Bobbi Mattingly. He acknowledges the challenges of losing someone with decades of experience in the office.
"We are hoping to minimize the gap. Fortunately, the experienced office staff are exceptional at what they do."
Thompson has tapped Sullivan native Dr. Zakry Standerfer to be the new Assistant Regional Superintendent.
"I am confident in our team and look forward to building an even better regional office in service to taxpayers and our schoolchildren,” Thompson said.
ROE 11 oversees school districts in Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie and Shelby counties.