RIS Principal Mr. James Toland

April 25, 2022 - The Rochester CUSD #3a Board of Education is pleased to announce the hire of Mr. Jamie Toland as Principal of Rochester Intermediate School (RIS). In a unanimous decision, Mr. Toland was approved to take the helm at RIS beginning in July. After arriving in the District in 2019, Toland served as the Assistant Principal at Rochester High School for the past three years. Superintendent Dan Cox said, “After a rigorous and competitive interview process, Mr. Toland stood out as the best person to lead Rochester Intermediate School into the future.” Cox continued, “Mr. Toland possesses strong leadership skills such as being a good communicator, being visible throughout the school and District, and is a collaborative leader who will help ensure the teachers, staff, and families work together to maximize the success of our students at RIS.” On Toland’s hire, Board President Dr. Christie Magoulias said, “Mr. Toland’s successful experience as a school administrator within and outside of our District coupled with his enthusiasm for the job at hand is compelling. He demonstrates his commitment to learning and the principalship through his involvement in the Illinois Principals Association’s professional development opportunities. He will energize others and be a reliable and strong leader for the RIS students and staff.”    

Toland is hitting the ground running, starting with transition strategies by gathering perspectives from teachers and staff about how they can work together to create an environment that will best help students succeed. “Having been a parent of students who attended Rochester Intermediate School, I know about its long-standing tradition of excellence,” said Toland. “I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve such an outstanding school and look forward to working with our staff, students, and community to fulfill the vision and mission of our school,” he added. “I’ve built my career around being fair and I work to be engaging, communicative, and build trust. These are the core values that I prioritize. I am prepared to work with stakeholders in our school to ensure that our students have the best opportunity to be successful. This type of leadership is demonstrated by listening, collaborating, and having a solid grasp of what is taking place within our school by being visible and having open and honest discussions with our school community.” 

Mr. Toland is a graduate of both Western Illinois University and The University of Illinois at Springfield. Beginning his career in education in the fall of 1997, Toland has served as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and assistant principal at the Sangamon Valley and Riverton school districts. His wife, Sarah, is a Speech Pathologist at Rochester EC-1 and they have two children, twins, Elise and Carter who are 2019 graduates of Rochester High School.

Personnel decisions continued to highlight the meeting following the hire of the RIS Principal. The Board approved the following personnel recommendations following closed session: 

  • The following individuals were approved for employment: 

    • RES 4th Grade Teacher: Madison Graham

    • Rehire Fall Coaches 2022

    • Summer Work Program Assistant: Justin (Cody) Dickerson

    • Summer Work Program Assistant: Angela Riemann

    • Summer Work Program Lead: Bene Nuding 

    • Bus Driver: David Knoepfle

    • Assistant Football Coach: Drake Leeper

    • Assistant Cheerleading Football Coach: Olivia Seitz

    • Summer Seasonal Maintenance: Jaden Brown-Riyling

  • The following individuals were approved as volunteers: 

    • RHS Boys Golf Coach: Brian Anderson

    • RHS Girls Golf Coach: Ralph Anderson

    • RHS Asst. Bass Fishing Coach: Eric Crouch

    • RHS Cheerleading Coach: Allyson Diebold

    • RHS Asst. Bass Fishing Coach: Dan Farris

    • RHS Volleyball Coach: Stephanie Green

    • RHS Volleyball Coach: John Komnick

    • RJHS Track Coach: Sean Layendecker

    • RJHS Softball Coach: Jessica Meyer

    • RHS Football Coach: Jim Smith

    • RHS Football Coach: Brett Tackett

  • The following individuals submitted resignations with thanks for service: 

    • Krista Stringham - RJHS Math/Social Studies Teacher effective 5/25/22

    • Brian Warner - School Bus Driver effective 4/13/22

    • Meghan Woods - RIS Literacy Aide effective 5/25/2022

  • The following leave of absence was approved: 

    • Cassandra Meredith - RHS Special Education Teacher 4/22/22-4/29/22 

  • Classified Support Personnel Pay Increases of 4% for the 2022-2023 school year. 

  • Administrator Contracts including a 4% pay increase were extended through the 2022-2023 school year. 

To learn more about the action and discussion items that took place during the meeting see the summary of minutes on the District website.