MT. VERNON Ron Daniels filed his nominating petitions Monday to run for regional superintendent of the soon-to-be consolidated Regional Office of Education 13.
Daniels is currently in his third year serving as the Jefferson-Hamilton counties Regional Superintendent of Schools for ROE 25.
He filed as a Republican to be on the ballot for the March 18, 2014, primary election.
“I've enjoyed serving our school districts and the public,” Daniels said. “Even though we are reorganizing, I hope to continue to serve our school districts as regional superintendent.”
Also filing for that position Monday was Keri Garrett, the current Regional Superintendent of Schools for ROE 13. She is running as a Democrat.
Daniels and Garrett will face each other in the Nov. 4, 2014, general election.
“I absolutely love my job,” Garrett said. “I really enjoy providing services and working with the school districts. … It's a nice position for me and it's a good fit.”
To accommodate the upcoming consolidation, the deadline for regional superintendents to file their petitions was extended by the Illinois Legislature. Originally, the time frame to file was Nov. 25 to Dec. 2. It is now Dec. 16 to Dec. 23.
State legislation will reduce the number of ROEs to 35 by July 1, 2015. This will result in some ROEs being merged.
The current office serving this area is ROE 25, which includes Jefferson and Hamilton counties.
With the consolidation, Jefferson will now join ROE 13, which includes Marion, Clinton and Washington counties. Hamilton County will join ROE 20 in the southeastern part of the state.
Daniels said he decided
to run for the new ROE 13 because he hopes to “improve the services provided to our area schools and the surrounding community.”
He added that the race should prove very challenging.
“For me, it will be an uphill battle,” Daniels said. “I will be running in three counties that are new to me.”
Prior to serving as regional superintendent, Daniels was principal at Mt. Vernon Township High School for four years. Before that, he was Grade School principal, then superintendent, for Waltonville Unit #1. He also worked as a science teacher for 14 years.
If he is not elected in November, Daniels said he plans to return to school administration as a superintendent, principal or similar type of position.
Garrett has been the ROE 13 regional superintendent for nine years and is now in her third term.
Prior to her current position, she worked for about a year as the assistant regional superintendent for ROE 13.
Before that, she was a teacher for roughly 20 years at school districts in Sandoval, Waltonville, Salem and Centralia.
Garrett said ROE 13 is currently made up of 32 public school districts and 12 private districts. When the consolidation occurs in 2015, those numbers will increase to 49 public districts and 13 private districts, she said.
“I welcome the challenge of bringing more into the group,” Garrett said. “It'll be a job. That's a lot of school districts.”
Garrett described her office's operations as a “well-oiled machine” and said planning and goal-setting are major priorities for her.
“I hope it's a good transition for everyone,” Garrett said.