High quality teachers and teacher retention are two goals for the Arcola School District. Of the 7 new teachers coming to Arcola next school year only two are due to current staff resignations and one of those is because a teacher is going back to her native country of Spain.

You can see the amazing qualifications below for the teachers we have been lucky to employ for next year.

The Arcola School District is excited to welcome new staff members for the 2018-2019 school year. The following provides some information about our new staff:

High School

Greg Gisinger will be filling the newly created K-12 Physical Education teaching position. He will also be the new High School Head Boys Basketball Coach. Greg has many years of experience both in the classroom and coaching and he comes to us from the Watseka School District. He attended high school in Cerro Gordo. He will now be rooting for the Purple Riders instead of the Broncos!

John Craig will be filling the newly created High School Social Studies position, John graduated from Eastern Illinois University and taught many years at the Okaw Valley School District before moving with his family up north where he taught at River Grove Junior High. John will bring a wealth of classroom experience and a passion for history to our school!

Robert Boyd will be teaching High School Mathematics. This position was vacant because Riley Fore moved from the math position to the instructional coach position next year. Robert has over twenty years of experience teaching high school math. He comes to us from Tuscola High School.

Amanda Mendez will be filling the new junior high-high school counseling position that was added for next school year by the Board of Education. She has spent the last several years as a high school counselor in Monmouth-Roseville High School. She has worked with a very diverse student population in Monmouth and she is fluent in Spanish. She is also an EIU graduate and we are excited to have her sharing her talents in Arcola!

Zachary Klunick will be replacing Pilar Ramos as our high school Spanish teacher next year. Ms. Ramos will be going back to Spain after a three-year stay in the United States. Zach is also a veteran teacher that grew up in the Springfield area and is currently teaching at Illini Central High School. He has spent extended time in both Mexico and Peru, which shows his passion for the Spanish Language!

James Caudle will be our new Junior High Math teacher. James brings a strong math foundation with being a high school certified math teacher and having twenty years of experience teaching junior high and high math in Lovington and then ALAH. Math teachers are very hard to find and the district is excited to find one with such strong credentials!

Elementary School

Aimee Lugo will be teaching 6th grade next year. She comes with several years of experience as well as she has been teaching at Shiloh Elementary School since 2012. She is married to Arcola veteran teacher Alex Lugo who has taught Art here for many years. Aimee is also a graduate of EIU and we are excited to have her as part of our team. She is filling a vacancy created because Ms. Cleeton will be moving from the classroom to a reading recovery intervention position.

Golene Thrush will be teaching 3rd grade next year. She is replacing an elementary classroom teacher that recently resigned. She will be coming to us from the Georgetown School District and is also an EIU alum. At EIU, she was part of the prestigious Golden Apple Scholar program, which is a highly promoted teacher preparation program. Welcome to Arcola, Golene!


Melissa Sons-Ashmorewill be the new district social worker. She will be replacing Kate Mathis who took a position in her home town of Shelbyville. Melissa has a master’s degree in counseling and student development and has worked in the counseling/social work field professionally since 2010. She most recently worked for the Eastern Illinois Area Special Education Cooperative and prior to that at Eastern Illinois University.