New Administrators 2021-2022 school year

Lakota Welcomes New Administrators for the 2021-2022 School Year
Posted on 08/10/2021
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orange and blue bands with white megaphoneAs Lakota Local Schools prepares to welcome its students back for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the district is pleased to announce several new administrators. The changes come as a result of both movement throughout the district and expanded support programs to meet the needs of Lakota’s 17,000 students.

“We have an incredibly strong administrative team throughout our district,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller. “I’m excited to add new members to the team, and welcome some back to Lakota.”


Diane Keene, who has most recently served as a speech pathologist for Lakota’s preschool, has been named the director of the program. 

Early Childhood Schools:

Earlier this year, Natalie Jimenez was named the new principal at Heritage Early Childhood School, where she is currently serving as assistant principal. Jimenez joined Lakota last year from the greater Chicago area.

Amy Fugate is returning to Lakota as the assistant principal at Heritage. Fugate was previously the assistant principal at Creekside ECS.

Missy Alexander will lead Liberty ECS as principal in the fall. Alexander has been with Lakota for 22 years, first as a teacher at the school. She has been the principal at Heritage ECS for the past 10 years.

Joining Alexander at Liberty Early Childhood will be Keri Albrinck, serving as assistant principal and assistant preschool director. Albrinck has served as the assistant preschool director since 2019 and the assistant principal at Adena Elementary prior to that position.

Kyle Lichey has been named the principal at Wyandot Early Childhood School. Lichey began his teaching career at Lakota here in 2008 as a first grade teacher. He has been the principal at Union Elementary since 2017.

Elementary Schools:

Kirsten Cannon has been named assistant principal at Cherokee Elementary School. Cannon comes to Lakota from Cincinnati Public Schools where she was a teacher for six years, including serving as a math content specialist, building test coordinator and chair of the building leadership team. 

Benjamin Schneider has joined Endeavor Elementary as assistant principal. Schneider has spent the last 14 years at Sycamore Schools as a music specialist. Schneider also brings his district-level experience to Endeavor, having served on teams focused on student behavior.

Kara (Yates) Kowalk, who has been Union Elementary’s assistant principal since August 2019, has been named principal of the school. Kowalk began her teaching career in Lexington, KY and also taught in Fort Thomas before moving to Lakota.

Joining Kowalk at Union is Bre Sambuchino who has been named the new assistant principal. Sambuchino comes to Lakota after teaching in Hamilton City and Loveland schools, as well as Roger Bacon High School.

Junior Schools:

Brian Wallace returns to Lakota as the new assistant principal at Plains Junior School. Wallace has most recently led the human resources department at Sycamore Schools. Before joining Sycamore, Wallace taught at Plains and was also the school’s athletic director.

High Schools:

Rob Burnside returns to the district as the principal at Lakota East High School after spending the past year at New Richmond Schools. Prior to New Richmond, Burnside was the associate principal of East Freshman for three years.

Scott Laman has been named the associate principal at West Freshman for the new year. Laman served as the assistant principal at the school last year. Prior to this position, he was a teacher at Ridge Junior School.

Taryn Barker has been named the assistant principal at West Freshman for the coming school year. Barker joins Lakota from Milford Schools where she has been for 12 years. The last two years, Barker has been the coordinator of special education.


Deana Moss has been named the director of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) work districtwide. MTSS is a team-based approach to supporting the needs of students, both academically and behaviorally, in the classroom. Moss has spent the last two years as the assistant director of instruction at Lakota East High School.

Todd Hartman will leave his role as assistant principal at Cherokee Elementary School to supervise at the elementary level. Along with Hartman, Kate Joseph, an innovation specialist at Lakota East High School, Mark Byrd, a special education teacher from Kings, and Theresa Brock, a reading specialist at Creekside ECS, have also been named supervisors at the high school, junior school and early childhood levels respectively.

Justin Frost has been named the assistant director of instruction for grades 7-12 for Lakota East and its feeder schools. Frost returned to Lakota in 2019 as the assistant principal at Plains Junior School.