The Council Bluffs Community School District will be making several changes to its trustees for the 2022-23 school year.
Dr. Tracy Mathews, Head of Schools for Preschool-5, will become Director of Studies, replacing Dr. Corey Vorthmann, who has tendered his resignation. In this role, she will lead the teaching and learning department as it helps schools deliver high quality curriculum, teaching and assessment to all learners.
Mathews joined Council Bluffs Community Schools in 2007 and served as a teacher, summer school administrator, principal of Crescent and Lewis & Clark Elementary Schools and director of preschool programs before taking up her current role last year.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northern Iowa University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and instructional leadership from Doane College, and her doctorate in instructional leadership from the College of Saint Mary.
Mark Schuldt, head of elementary schools since 2017, this year supported six elementary schools and the two middle schools. Next year, he will work directly with the principals of the 11 elementary schools as they lead school improvement efforts.
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Schuldt joined the district in 1998 as a teacher at Longfellow Elementary School. He spent a year as a K-12 math consultant for the Loess Hills Area Education Agency (now Green Hills AEA) from 2004-2005 and returned to the district in 2005 to serve as principal of Gunn Elementary School. He took the reins of Roosevelt Elementary in 2008.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction and educational technology at UNI and in instructional leadership at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Melissa Comine, acting head of high schools since November 2021, will become head of schools for grades 6-12. It will serve both middle and high schools, including Career and Technical Education, Early College Academy, and Diploma Plus 1 Pathways. Prior to that, she worked for Omaha Public Schools for 23 years, becoming Academic Director of Curriculum and Instructional Support in 2017.
In this role, she was responsible for improving the school and overseeing and directing a variety of academic and educational programs. She served as a teacher, educational facilitator, vice principal, principal and superintendent of schools and support supervision before accepting this position.
She completed a Bachelor of Education and a Masters in Administration and Supervision at the UN and also completed the Education Specialist Program at Doane.
Casey Moran, principal of Rue Elementary School, will become deputy director of special education, replacing Dr. Wes Galusha, who served in an interim position as director of special education for two years. Moran has been with the district since 2004. He has served as a teacher, district math coach, middle school basketball coach, assistant high school football coach, summer school building supervisor, and manager of Bloomer and Lewis & Clark before moving to Rue in 2018.
He is currently working on a doctorate in educational leadership at the UN.
Luke Petersen will join the Thomas Jefferson High School team as vice principal and director of activities, replacing Dustin Deterding, who announced his resignation. Petersen joined the school district in 2013 as the activity director and physical education teacher at Kirn Middle School. He is also the head football and track coach and serves as the school’s liaison with high school coaches and Abraham Lincoln AD.
He served as an administrator for the district’s Summer Explore program and is a member of the Kirn Leadership and IB teams. He participated in the school district’s first administration cohort.
Petersen earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology as a football and track athlete at Concordia University in Chicago and began his career as an assistant strength coach at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He received his teaching degree from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Governors State University in Illinois. He taught and was an athletic director at the vice principal of the Burr Ridge and Oswego school districts in Illinois before moving to Council Bluffs.
He said he looked forward to developing relationships among Thomas Jefferson students, parents, coaches, sponsors and staff. He is excited about the opportunity to continue the proud traditions of TJ while building on the momentum of successful and growing programs that enhance the total educational experience for students.
John Crall, currently a special education teacher and mentor leader at Ames High School, will become vice-principal at Abraham Lincoln High School, replacing Samantha Ballard, who has accepted an administrative position in another district. He has also held supervisory and leadership positions at the building and school district level. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Iowa, a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Upper Iowa University, and a master’s degree in special education from Morningside College. He recently earned an administrator’s license and a master’s degree in education focused on transformative school leadership from Iowa State University.