A familiar face will lead the charge for Carbondale Elementary School District No. 95.
Carbondale Community High School Principal Daniel Booth was hired by the school board Thursday to a five-year contract with a salary of $150,816. His tenure as superintendent will begin July 1.
Booth came to Carbondale to attend Southern Illinois University in 2002. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2006 in health education and in 2010 received a master’s degree in education administration.
He was hired by CCHS in 2006 as a health and driver’s education instructor. He was promoted to dean of students in 2009 and became assistant principal in 2010. In 2011, he was promoted to principal.
Booth said Carbondale is his home and he is excited “to hit the ground running” in the new district.
“I was eager to talk to the board about my vision what this district can be with great leadership,” he said. “We were on the same page and here we are today.”
He said this is an opportunity for Carbondale to begin succeeding, starting with its youngest minds.
“I’m most excited about what the future holds for Carbondale,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for Carbondale to reach its full potential at the elementary level.
“This could be a model district in the state of Illinois. We will exceed expectations. It will take time and hard work, but we are not running away from hard work.”
Booth takes over the superintendent job from interim superintendent Elizabeth Lewin, who has been in charge since May when former superintendent Michael Shimshak retired.
Booth wasn’t the only person happy to see the district make this move, as School Board Chairman John Major said District 95 is trending in the right direction with new hire.
“I think our district has made the turnaround already tonight,” he said.
The teachers in the audience on Thursday were also pleased with the hire, as several times throughout the meeting, there were pauses for applause.
Sharonda Marshall, third grade teacher at Thomas School, said Booth is exactly with the district needs.
“He is a person who is going to come in and change the culture of our district,” she said. “He came in and talked to the Carbondale Education Association, and you saw nothing but smiles and happiness all around.”
Booth addressed the teachers during the meeting, saying he looks forward to helping them feel special and important.
“Because this district will not be anything without you guys and I appreciate what you do every day,” he said.
The only negative comments came from two board members Carlton Smith and Gary Shepherd, who both said it was concerning the board only saw the contract from the first time Thursday night, and didn’t get to participate in what terms went into the contract.
However, both members also said their concerns did not reflect their feelings toward Booth’s qualifications for the job.
CES 95 is home to Parish Elementary, Thomas Elementary, Lewis Elementary and Carbondale Middle Schools.