Monte Newlin, 53, seeks retention as regional superintendent of schools for Clay, Crawford, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland counties. Newlin became regional superintendent in 2011 filling in the for retiring Carol Steinman. The following year he was elected to an unexpired two-year term and was re-elected to a full four-year term in 2014.
Prior to becoming superintendent Newlin has served as a public school educator for about 30 years, including as a high school teacher, guidance counselor and principal. Early in his teaching career he was recognized for his hard work in the classroom by being rewarded as a Golden Apple Award recipient by WICD-TV, Champaign.
As a guidance counselor he was recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education for Innovative Career Guidance Programs.
Newlin said he will strive to maintain a high standard of service to the schools and constituents in the five-county region, focusing on safety, support and success.
"The School Code of Illinois charges the Regional Superintendent with the responsibility for ensuring the safety of students and staff in the schools he/she oversees," he explained. "We do this through annual health life/safety inspections, issuing building permits before any form of school construction can take place, and then issuing occupancy permits after the construction has been completed to ensure compliance with applicable building codes and standards."
It is also his responsibility to safeguard students through proper vetting of all licensed staff. Live scan fingerprinting is conducted for background checks for Illinois State Police and the FBI.
Newlin also acknowledged it is important to support regional educators by assisting them with obtaining and maintaining their state licensure, by offering professional development trainings, and through yearly visits to each district to ensure that schools are in compliance with all state and federal standards and mandates.
He will also ensure student success by providing high school equivalency testing to adult learners, offering programs of student enrichment with yearly TeamQuest competitions and Illinois State Scholar Banquet programs and providing assistance to homeless students, helping them to succeed. But like with all professions, challenges find a way cause difficulties.
"The main challenge for me personally is to effectively oversee all the varied and far-reaching duties of the office prescribed by the school code," Newlin said.
Newlin and his wife, Angela, have three children, Emma, Eli and Ethan. Aside from his education duties, he is village trustee for the village of Hutsonville board, and a member and Sunday School Superintendant at Robinson First Baptist Church.