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Lakota Welcomes New Administrators to the District

As Lakota Local Schools prepares to welcome its students back for the start of the 2022-2023 school year, new administrators are being welcomed to the district, as well as to new schools. The changes come as a result of both movement throughout the district and opportunities for former administrators to advance their careers outside of the Lakota.

“A new school year always brings excitement to the district. This year, we are able to add to that excitement by welcoming new administrators,” said Superintendent Matt Miller. “Our students and staff will benefit from these leaders and the new ideas they will bring to the table.”

Early Childhood Schools

Traci Hummer has been named principal at Shawnee Early Childhood School. Mrs. Hummer has served as assistant principal at the school since 2019. Prior to joining Lakota, she served as acting principal at Oakwood Schools in Dayton.

Joining Mrs. Hummer at Shawnee is Kirsten Cannon. Mrs. Cannon served as assistant principal at Cherokee Elementary for the last year. Prior to that, she was a teacher at Cincinnati Public Schools for six years, having served as a math content specialist, building test coordinator and chair of the building leadership team. 

Michelle Peterson joins Lakota as the principal at Creekside Early Childhood School with 25 years of experience in education. Previously, Mrs. Peterson served as the principal of a PreK-8 school in Warren City Schools and Creekview Elementary School in Middletown. 

Elementary Schools

John Mattingly returns to Independence Elementary School as principal. Mr. Mattingly has been principal at Adena Elementary since 2017. Prior to a brief stint outside of Lakota, Mr. Mattingly served as assistant principal at Independence.

Mike Stapleton joins Cherokee Elementary School as assistant principal this year. Mr. Stapleton comes to Lakota from the West Clermont School District where he served as an elementary school dean. Prior to moving into administration, Mr. Stapleton spent many years in K-12 classrooms as a teacher.

Kevin Thomas will move to Adena Elementary School as principal. Mr. Thomas has served the students at Lakota since 2006. Prior to joining the Adena team, Mr. Thomas was the principal at Shawnee ECS since 2019, previously serving as assistant principal at the school.

Junior Schools

Having served the students at Liberty Junior as assistant principal since 2018, Linda Burwinkel will now lead the school as principal. Prior to joining the staff at Liberty Junior, Mrs. Burwinkel served as assistant principal at Cherokee Elementary School.

Andrew Ovington joins Liberty Junior School as its assistant principal this year. A Lakota East graduate, Mr. Ovington taught social studies at Sycamore High School since 2011.

High Schools

Kate Joseph joins Lakota Central as its first principal. Mrs. Joseph has been in education since 2005, having served Lakota East students as a social studies teacher and innovation specialist. Most recently, Mrs. Joseph has been the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) coordinator for grades 9-12 in Lakota.

Joining Mrs. Joseph at Lakota Central, Eric Bauman will serve as the school’s assistant principal. Mr. Bauman was the principal at Liberty Junior School for 10 years before moving to Central. He has been in education since 1991, also serving as an assistant principal at Plains Junior and Lakota East.

Jill Meiring has been named the athletic director at Lakota East High School. Ms. Meiring has been the assistant athletic director at East since 2017, having previously worked at Saint Ursula Academy in this same position.

Katrina Fugate has been named assistant principal at Lakota East. Mrs. Fugate comes to Lakota with 20 years of classroom experience before entering administration. She most recently served as assistant principal at Springboro High School.

Bill Brinkman has been named associate principal at the East Freshman building, where he has served as assistant principal since 2010. Prior to joining the administration team at East Freshman, Mr. Brinkman taught math in another district. 

Bethany Noble has been named the assistant principal at East Freshman. Mrs. Noble has been a school psychologist at Lakota since 2014. 


Greg Finke will shift to a new position through Lakota’s Central Office. Until his retirement in January 2023, Dr. Finke will be working on several special assignments throughout the district, including serving as a mentor to new administrators.

Amy Marquette will be the new assistant human resources director for Lakota. Previously an assistant principal at Liberty Early Childhood, Mrs. Marquette was most recently an assistant principal in Oak Hills.

Darian Ascoli has been named assistant treasurer, a change from his current role as finance director. Mr. Ascoli has been with Lakota since 2017, first serving as budgetary director. 

In June, Adam Zink was named treasurer/CFO by the Lakota Board of Education. Mr. Zink will take over for Jenni Logan, who retired Aug. 1.

  • Human Resources