School board approves administrators


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Board of Education approved five administrative positions.

The positions include Director of Special Education, Director of K-8 Teaching and Learning, Principal of Bottenfield Elementary, Assistant Principal at Westview Elementary and Assistant Principal at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy.

Here is the full press release from the school district:

Andy O’Neil Tabbed as Unit 4 Director of Special Education effective July 1, 2019

O’Neil has been a Special Education Administrator for Unit 4 since July 2015. He previously served the District in roles at Edison Middle School (as Special Education Teacher and Content Area Chair) and Robeson Elementary (Special Education Teacher).

Beyond his work in Unit 4, O’Neil was a Special Education Teacher with the Rural Champaign County Special Education Cooperative and an Itinerant Special Education Teacher with Eastern Illinois Area Special Education. Additionally, he was a Special Education Teacher with the Shiloh School District and served as an Inclusion Facilitator with Urbana Schools.

O’Neil holds holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (1989), a Master of Special Education (1995), and a Master of Education Organization and Leadership (2014), all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jonell Baskett appointed Director of K-8 Teaching and Learning effective July 17, 2019

Baskett currently serves as a District Administrator with Springfield Public Schools where she is responsible for coordinating gifted education programming, including universal testing, data analysis, and identification of gifted students. She also oversees the district’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program and International Baccalaureate Program.

Joining Springfield Public Schools in 1994, Baskett spent her first 10 years as a teacher before accepting the position of School Improvement Coach. In that role, her primary focus was working with school principals and staff members to improve instruction and student achievement. Two years later, Baskett became District Coordinator, an administrative position where she supervised and oversaw a variety of district programs and initiatives. She later served as an Elementary School Principal from 2008-12 and a High School Academic Assistant Principal from 2012-16. 

Baskett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Teacher Education Program Certification from the University of Illinois-Springfield (1992) and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Illinois State University (2004). She earned Superintendent Certification from Illinois State University (2017) and is currently completing her Doctoral Degree at ISU in Educational Administration and Foundations.

Jason Pope Appointed Principal at Bottenfield Elementary effective July 2019

Pope rejoins Unit 4 after serving one year as Principal at High Road School in Bloomington. Prior to that position, Pope spent four years as an Assistant Principal at Robeson Elementary. 

From 2010-14, Pope was the Principal of Oak Grove Elementary School in Decatur. Before his move into administration, Pope was a Music Instructor with the Excelsior Springs (Mo.) School District and The Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, based in Kansas City, Mo. His previous experience also includes serving as an instructor at Kansas City (Kan.) Community College and Kent State University.

Pope holds a Bachelor of Music in Commercial Performance with a double major in Philosophy from Millikin University (1997) and a Master of Art in Music Performance from George Mason University (1999). He earned his teaching certificate in Instrumental and Vocal Music from Central Missouri State University in 2005 and his Master of Education in Educational Administration from Park University (Mo.) in 2007. Pope is currently working toward a PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an emphasis on Equity and Diversity in Education.

Christina Ray named Assistant Principal at Westview Elementary effective July 30, 2019

Currently the Assistant Principal/Summer School Principal at Garden Hills Elementary, Ray joined Unit 4 Schools in August 2017. She began her teaching career in 2012 as a Math and Language Arts Teacher with Urbana 116 Schools.

Ray earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Union University (Jackson, Tenn.) in 2011. She earned her Master of Arts in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017.

Jacquelyn Teague named Assistant Principal at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy effective July 30, 2019

Teague served as a Special Education Teacher at Barkstall Elementary School since July 2013, where she served as a member of the Risk Ratio Team and the Response to Intervention team (RtI), both in her building and at the District level. She is also a member of the Curriculum Advisory Committee.

A 2013 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education with a Learning Behavior Specialist I Endorsement, Teague also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Principal Licensure from Colorado State University-Global in 2019. 

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