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Four Sandburg High School administrative hires approved by District 230 School Board

Admin hires


At its meeting Thursday night, the District 230 School Board approved the hiring of four administrators for Sandburg High School. Each brings great experience and a student-centered approach to their new roles which begin on July 1, 2021. 

Anita Huffman, Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction

Anita Huffman joins the Sandburg High School administration as Associate Principal for Curriculum and 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.

“Anita Huffman brings a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge to the Associate Principal role at Sandburg,” Principal Derrick Smith said. “She has had the unique opportunity to work in leadership positions connected to both student support services and curriculum and instruction. She’s led impressive work and efforts in each of these areas and is an outstanding addition to our leadership team. As an instructional leader, Anita possesses a deep understanding of quality instruction and has the ability to design, implement and deliver engaging professional learning opportunities.” 

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.


Sean Airola, Assistant Principal for Activities

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. 

“Sean Airola sets a high standard for his own leadership, and his proactive approach to his work inspires others,” Sandburg Principal Derrick Smith said. “As a Division Chair, Sean has implemented high-level programming initiatives that have enhanced students’ learning and empowered teachers to engage in meaningful professional learning. Sean consistently examines ways to improve students’ experiences in classrooms, athletics, and co-curriculars.  Sean is an engaging, motivated leader who will undoubtedly connect with students and staff from his first day in this role.” 

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.

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.

“I have only known Chynna Hampton for a short time, but I can already tell that she employs a student-centered approach to leadership,” Sandburg Principal Derrick Smith said. “Her ability to analyze and devise support plans and programs for students will immediately impact our PPS processes and teams. Her expertise will be vital in our transition to the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, Chynna truly values the power of cultivating positive, meaningful relationships with students and staff. These values are well-aligned to our school’s culture.” 

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.


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. 

“We are excited to have Scott Plaisier transition into the Division Chair for P.E., Health, and Drivers Education position,” Sandburg Principal Derrick Smith said. “Scott has already established himself as an instructional leader as a teacher. He’s also exemplified leadership in numerous coaching roles at Sandburg. Scott does an outstanding job of connecting with students and creating positive cultures within his classroom and within his teams. I cannot wait to see how he is able to translate these skills into a leadership context.”

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.