Council Bluffs Community School District will make several changes among its administrators for the 2022-23 school year.
Dr. Tracy Mathews, chief of schools for preschool-5, will become chief academic officer, replacing Dr. Corey Vorthmann, who has submitted his resignation. In this role, she will lead the Teaching and Learning Department as it supports schools in delivering high-quality curriculum, instruction and assessment to all learners.
Mathews joined Council Bluffs Community Schools in 2007 and served as a teacher, summer school administrator, principal at Crescent and Lewis & Clark Elementary Schools and director of preschool programming before moving into her current position this past year.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at University of Northern Iowa, master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction and in educational leadership at Doane College and her doctorate in educational leadership at College of Saint Mary.
Mark Schuldt, chief of elementary schools since 2017, has supported six elementary schools and the two middle schools this year. Next year, he will work directly with the principals at all 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 Loess Hills Area Education Agency (now Green Hills AEA) from 2004-05 and returned to the district in 2005 to serve as the principal at Gunn Elementary School. He took the reins at Roosevelt Elementary in 2008.
He earned a bachelor’s degree at University of Northern Iowa and master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction and in educational technology at UNI and in educational leadership at University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Melissa Comine, interim chief of high schools since November 2021, will become chief of schools for grades 6-12. She will serve both the middle and high schools, including Career & Technical Education, Early College Academy and Diploma Plus 1 Pathways. Prior to that, she worked for Omaha Public Schools for 23 years, becoming chief academic officer of curriculum and instructional support in 2017.
In that role, she was responsible for school improvement and for overseeing and leading a variety of academic and educational programs. She was a teacher, instructional facilitator, assistant principal, principal and executive director of school and support supervision before accepting that position.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in administration and supervision at UNO and also completed the education specialist program at Doane.
Casey Moran, principal at Rue Elementary School, will become assistant special education director, replacing Dr. Wes Galusha, who has served in an interim special education leadership role for two years. Moran has been with the district since 2004. He served as a classroom teacher, district math coach, middle school basketball coach, high school assistant soccer coach, summer school building supervisor and principal of Bloomer and Lewis & Clark before moving to Rue in 2018.
He is currently working on a doctorate in educational leadership at UNO.
Luke Petersen will join the Thomas Jefferson High School team as assistant principal and activities director, replacing Dustin Deterding, who has announced his resignation. Petersen joined the school district in 2013 as activities 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 to the high school coaches and Abraham Lincoln AD.
He has served as an administrator with 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 administer 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 earned his teaching credential at Northern Illinois University and a master’s in educational administration at Governors State University in Illinois. He taught and served as athletic director at assistant principal in the Burr Ridge and Oswego school districts in Illinois before moving to Council Bluffs.
He said he is eager to develop relationships among the students, parents, coaches, sponsors and staff at Thomas Jefferson. 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 an assistant principal at Abraham Lincoln High School, replacing Samantha Ballard, who accepted an administrative position in another district. He has also served in coaching and leadership roles at the building and school district level. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science at University of Iowa, a bachelor’s degree in in secondary education at Upper Iowa University and a master’s in special education at Morningside College. He recently earned an administrators license and a master’s in education focusing on transformative school leadership at Iowa State University.