Phone: 708-671-3110

Email:

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Dr. Derrick Smith

Principal

Dr. Derrick Smith’s ties to Sandburg High School go back to his days as a student. Upon graduation from Sandburg High School, Smith attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism. He went on to earn a Master of Education Degree in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from St. Xavier University.
He completed doctoral coursework in Literacy, Language and Culture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He recently completed a Doctorate in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the influence of Advanced Placement coursework on students’ college-readiness achievement.
Smith joined the District 230 family as a staff member in 2005 as an English teacher. He later served as Division Chair for English and Music and has been Associate Principal of Instruction since 2014

Phone: 708-671-3112

Email:

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Anita Huffman

Associate Principal for Instruction

Anita Huffman joins the Sandburg High School administration as Associate Principal for Instruction from Leyden High School where she served as Assistant Principal for seven years. Prior to that she was an Instructional Coach and Special Education Teacher in Chicago Public Schools for seven years.
Huffman holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education from Bradley University.

 

Phone: 708-671-3114

Email:

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Brian Klene

Associate Principal

Mr. Klene joined Sandburg's administrative team as Associate Principal in July 2012. He joined the school from Lockport High School where he served as Dean of Students and Activities Director. He also served as Interim Department Chair for Social Science and taught American Government and Economics. He earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, an Administrative Certificate from Governors State University and a Bachelors in Social Science from Eastern Illinois University.

Phone: 708-671-3126

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Sean Airola

Assistant Principal

Sean Airola is the new Assistant Principal for Activities at Sandburg High School. He joined Sandburg High School in 2007 as a Physical Education and Health Teacher and was promoted to Division Chair for Physical Education, Health and Driver Education in 2014.  Airola holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University.

Phone: 708-671-3130

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Carl Coates

Division Chair for Social Studies, World Languages and Art

Carl Coates was on staff at Homewood-Flossmoor High School for 18 years, teaching economics, history, and government for 13 years and serving as Social Science Department Chair for the last five years. He previously taught social studies courses for four years at Plano Senior High School near Dallas, TX.  Coates has been an AP Macro and AP Microeconomics reader and has presented at national and local conferences on economics content and instructional delivery.  Coates earned his Bachelor’s Degree from University of North Texas, his Master’s Degree in Gifted Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, and his Principal Certification from National Louis University.  

Phone: 708-671-3193

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Lynna Dahlgren

Dean

Lynna has been a Dean of Students at Carl Sandburg High School since 2008. Prior to this role, she served 16 years as Lead Teacher of the PALS Program at Stagg High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Northwestern University and holds a Master of Arts degree in Learning Disabilities from Saint Xavier University. Lynna earned her Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration from Lewis University.

Phone: 708-671-3135

Email:

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Janet Daniels

Division Chair for English and Music

Janet Daniels joined District 230 in 2021-22  from Homewood-Flossmoor High School where she has served as English Department Chair since 2016 and as an English Teacher for ten years prior to that.
Daniels has training in Understanding by Design Curriculum Design, Restorative Justice and Practices, Equity Training, CRISS Strategies and Great Books Questioning Techniques. She also served as the New Teacher Program Facilitator and Professional Development Coordinate at Homewood-Flossmoor, served as a Behaviour Intervention Program Facilitator and served on numerous committees.
Daniels earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Iowa, a Master’s Degree in Education from Sant Xavier University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University.

Phone: 708-671-3190

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Andrew DeCraene

Head Dean

Andy DeCraene has been a Dean at Sandburg since 2007. He has served as Head Dean since 2011. Andy is a graduate of Benedictine University and North Central College.

Phone: 708-671-3192

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Shawn Donovan

Dean

Shawn joined the Sandburg Administrative Team in 2008 serving 6 years as Division Chair of Social Studies, World Languages, and Art. In 2014, he joined the Sandburg PPS team and currently serves as Dean of Students. Prior to joining the Sandburg family, he taught Social Studies at T.F. High School (7 years) in Lansing, IL, Whiting High School (3 years) in Whiting IN, and was an assistant athletic director at Lake Central High School in St. John, IN for one year. Shawn graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1997 with a degree in Secondary Education and in 2002 received his Master's Degree in Secondary Administration from Purdue University Northwest.

Phone: 708-671-3191

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James Fazekas

Dean

Jim Fazekas began his teaching career at Sandburg in 2005 and spent 15 years as a science teacher before joining the administrative team as a Dean of Students for the 2020-21 school year. Prior to that, he was a District 230 student and after graduating from Andrew High School, went on to earn a degree in Biology, a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Administration, all from Lewis University. 

 

Phone: 708-671-3134

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Tom Freyer

Division Chair for Math and Business

Mr. Freyer was formerly the Athletic Director at Carl Sandburg High School since 2016. He came to Carl Sandburg from Lyons Township High School where he served as a mathematics teacher and coach. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration from Governors State University, a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching from National Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

Phone: 708-671-3131

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Chynna Hampton

Director of Special Services

Chynna Hampton joins Sandburg High School as Director of Special Services from Rich Township School District where she has served as Division Lead for Student Support Services since 2019 and Lead Psychologist from 2016-1019. In the 12 years prior to that she served as a School Psychologist at Rich South, at Exceptional Children Have Opportunities, at Dolton School District, and at Proviso Area for Exceptional Children Cooperative and as Assistant Principal at Proviso Area for Exceptional Children.
Hampton earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Governors State University, a Specialist Degree in School Psychology, Master of Science degree in Community/School Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology all from Southern Illinois University. She is currently enrolled in the PhD in Community Psychology program at National Louis University.

Phone: 708-671-3133

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Matthew Knoepke

Division Chair for Science, Applied Technology and FACS 

Matthew Knoepke joined the Sandburg community in 2021, after spending the last 15 years teaching at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School.  Knoepke has been serving as the coordinator of the HF International Baccalaureate Programme since July of 2015.  Within the role of IB coordinator, Knoepke leads a team of more than 15 teachers to implement course and program curriculum.   Knoepke also developed the curriculum and learning strategies for Homewood-Flossmoor’s IB Theory of Knowledge course which focuses on developing critical thinking skills across disciplines.  Prior to arriving at HF, Knoepke spent four years teaching science and serving as department chair at Hyde Park Academy.  Knoepke has participated in research at Northwestern and University of Chicago as a fellow. 

Knoepke pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from University of Chicago prior to earning a Master’s in Teaching from National-Lewis and Master’s in Educational Leadership from Saint Xavier University.

Phone: 708-671-3120

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Kristyn Koss

Guidance Director

Kristyn Koss transitioned to Director of Guidance from Director of Special Services for the 2021-22 school year. Koss joined the Sandburg community in 2018 after spending 17 years at Stagg, most recently serving as a Dean of Students for seven years. Prior to becoming a Dean, Koss served as a Special Education teacher from 2001-2011. 
Koss pursued a Bachelor of Science in Special Education degree from Illinois State University prior to earning a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership at Lewis University.  

Phone: 708-671-3132

Email:

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Scott Plaisier

Division Chair for Health, PE and Driver Education

Scott Plaisier in the new Division Chair for Health, Physical Education and Driver Education at Sandburg High School. He has served as an Adventure Education and Physical Education Teacher for the Eagles since 2004. 
Plaisier earned a Master of Arts in Education School Improvement Leadership degree from Olivet Nazarene University, a Master of Arts in Physical Education degree from West Virginia University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Sports Administration from Calvin University.

Phone: 708-671-3138

Email:

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Steven Schanz

Athletic Director

Schanz received a Bachelor of Arts in teaching from the University of Illinois prior to getting a Master’s in School Administration & Leadership from Lewis University and a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction from Concordia University.  Schanz is also a Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) and Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA).  Schanz has spent the last seven years as the Athletic Director at Maine East High School.  Prior to that, he spent nine years as a Special Education Teacher and Head Girls’ Basketball coach at Oak Forest High School.  During his time at Oak Forest, Schanz also served as Assistant Athletic Director, honing his craft while working with Hall of Fame Athletic Director Sue Bonner.