LEAD Project Purpose

Our purpose is to increase principal effectiveness in areas that lead to increases in student achievement.

The project goals include developing effective principals in public and private schools located in rural, suburban, or urban settings that:

  • increase principal time spent on instruction improvements
  • improve instructional quality by engaging teachers in an on-going change process
  • positively impact student learning, particularly with high-need students

Three Major Project Components of the Grant

  • Cycles of Inquiry

    The process of identifying and strategizing solutions for problems that affect student learning.

  • Leadership Framework

    Develop the structures (school improvement teams, district leadership teams, etc.) to bring educators together.

  • Time Utilization Process

    Creating time in the school day to support student achievement.

Project Participants

The project collaborates with four regions including Regional Offices of Education (ROE) 1, 17, 19 and 28 which encompass 123 Illinois schools. The regions serve as LEAD Hubs. The hubs are designed to serve as a regional/local connection point that brings the schools, universities, and communities together. The idea of the hub is to attract, place, support, and retain school leaders that are well trained to meet the needs of the whole child within a culturally responsive context that maximizes regional resources, builds regional capacity, and creates a highly successful, sustainable leadership pipeline. Each hub is staffed with a LEAD Coordinator to help facilitate the work and maximize the outcomes of the LEAD Project.

Impact on ROE 1

ROE 1 Districts
ROE 1 Schools
ROE 1 Principals
ROE 1 Educators
Additional Funds Allocated to ROE 1 Participating Schools Annually
ROE 1 Students

Meet the ROE 1 LEAD Team

Brown County

Shelly Sheffler, Principal
Sally Ruble, Principal
Pollee Craven, Principal
Curt Simonson, LEAD Coach


Thad Walker, Superintendent
Thad Walker, Principal
Jeff Abell, Principal
Anne Cashman, LEAD Coach


Adam Dean, Superintendent
Josh Sorrells, Principal
Jamie Hobrock, Principal
Curt Simonson, LEAD Coach

Pleasant Hill

Ron Edwards, Superintendent
Ron Edwards, Principal
Ryan Lowe, Principal
Curt Simonson, LEAD Coach


Gary DePatis, Superintendent
Mekelle Neatherly, Principal
Curt Simonson & Anne Cashman, LEAD Coach


Kelle Bunch, Superintendent
Jody Obert, Principal
Justin Edgar, Principal
Anne Cashman, LEAD Coach

Quincy Public Schools

Roy Webb, Superintendent
Kim Dinkheller, Director
Sara Cramer, Director
Chrissy Cox, Principal
Melanie Schrand, Principal
Brad Funkenbusch, Principal
Jim Sohn, Principal
Jody Steinke, Principal
Lori Miles, Director
Carol Kilver, LEAD Coach

Payson Seymour

Donna Veile, Superintendent
Julie Phelan, Principal
Dawn VanCamp, Principal
Anne Cashman, LEAD Coach


Dustin Day, Superintendent
TBD, Principal
Curt Simonson, LEAD Coach

ROE 1 LEAD Coaches & LEAD Coordinators

  • Anne-Cashman

    Anne Cashman

    LEAD Coach

  • Carol-Kilver

    Dr. Carol Kilver

    LEAD Coach

  • Curt-Simonson

    Dr. Curt Simonson

    LEAD Coach

  • Michaela-Fray

    Michaela Fray

    LEAD Coordinator & Coach
    Email Michaela

State-wide LEAD Partners

Federal Grantees

Illinois State University
DuPage County ROE

University Partners

Illinois State University
North Central College
Western Illinois University

ROE Partners

ROE 17, Bloomington-Normal
ROE 19, DuPage County
ROE 29, Atkinson
Loyola Greenly Catholic Center

Regional Office of Education - Illinois Map

Impact Across Illinois


For more information on the overall project, please visit Leading Ed Partnerships.