The District 155 leadership team includes thirteen school and district administrators who oversee and implement the board of education's strategic vision for the district.
Steve Olson was named the thirteenth superintendent of schools in Community High School District 155 in August of 2018. He has spent his entire educational career in District 155. Prior to being named superintendent, he served as principal of Crystal Lake Central for 16 years. Mr. Olson also held positions in the district as CLC’s vice principal, and as well as vice principal, dean of students, athletic director, and guidance counselor at Crystal Lake South. Steve joined District 155 in 1985 as a social science teacher at Crystal Lake South High School. In 1999, he moved to Crystal Lake Central to become principal in 2000.
Mr. Olson holds several academic degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in broadfield social science from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He has also earned a masters in guidance and counseling from Northern Illinois University, and his superintendent endorsement from Aurora University.
Steve Olson has a strong background in social emotional learning, equity leadership, academic excellence and facilities management all that assisted in the development of the recently adopted District 155 Strategic Plan.
Director of Fiscal Services
A graduate of Crystal Lake South High School, Erica Bruso returned to the district as the manager of accounting in 2011. Bruso, a Certified Public Accountant, previously worked for the accounting firm of Eder, Casella & Company where she was employed as an audit and tax supervisor for the past six years. Specializing in financial statement and grant audits for school districts, local governments, and non-profit organizations, Bruso was the lead auditor on more than 20 school district audits. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy and a master’s of accounting science, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at the U of I, Bruso made the Dean’s List every semester and was honored with the Lieby Hall Scholarship for achievement in business. She is one of only eleven Illinois recipients of the Excel Award for Outstanding Score on the Certified Public Accountant Examination in 2004, and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Fraternity and the Illinois CPA Society.
Director of Student Services
Kimberly Dahlem joined Community High School District 155 in July 2013 as director of student services and is responsible for directing student support operations for the district’s four high schools and alternative campus. Dahlem leads efforts for special education, student services, English language learning, and related services. She manages legal, financial, and supervisory dimensions of the division. Dahlem previously served in various capacities as special education teacher, reading specialist, school counselor, guidance department chair, district chair, and director of student services with exposure to the EC-8 and high school continuum. Dahlem has enjoyed coaching various athletic teams and sponsoring a multitude of high school activities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State University, and a Master of Arts in reading, a Master of Arts in school counseling, and Type 75 administrative certification all earned from Roosevelt University. Dahlem completed her director of special education certificate through Aurora University in May 2013 followed by completion of doctoral studies and superintendent certification in 2016.
Assistant Superintendent, Finance & Operations
Jeremy Davis serves as District 155’s assistant superintendent of finance and operations and chief school business official. Previously, he held the chief school business official position at O’Fallon Township School District No. 203 since 2009. Prior to this role, he served Wheeling Community Consolidated School District No. 21 as director of business. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, where he graduated Cum Laude, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He began his career in education as an auditor for the Illinois State Board of Education. He also holds a Type 75 administrative certificate and has served on the Illinois Association of School Business Officials Nominating Committee. Davis also has experience working in the private banking industry.
Director of Technology
George DiVenere joined the District 155 team in April 2009 as director of technology. DiVenere has a master's degree in information technology from Northwestern University, more than 20 years of IT leadership experience, and vast technical knowledge and experience. His professional experience from the private sector has helped District 155 initiate best-practice solutions to modernize the district's infrastructure and enhance student learning. DiVenere was recognized with an Award of Excellence for Website communication by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association in 2014.
Dr. Eric Ernd
Principal, Crystal Lake Central High School
Dr. Eric Ernd is the principal of Crystal Lake Central High School. He has served as the vice principal at Central for six years, working with the leadership team to raise test scores to the highest scores in school history. Dr. Ernd is the CLC Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Coordinator and has focused on improving the program and increasing the number of student sections from one to five to support students and prepare them to be college and workforce ready. With 26 years of education experience, Dr. Ernd previously served as a principal, vice principal, athletic director, department chair, dean, and PE/Health/Driver's Education teacher. Dr. Ernd completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2011.
Dr. Steven Koch
Principal, Prairie Ridge High School
Dr. Steven Koch joined District 155 in 2001 as a Prairie Ridge English teacher. He served as English department chairman from 2005 until 2008, when he assumed his role as the district's director of staff development. He returned to Prairie Ridge as the school's fourth principal in July 2013. Dr. Koch received both a BA in secondary English education with a minor in rhetoric and an MA in English literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has both an Educational Specialist degree and a Type 75 certification from Northern Illinois University. Koch earned his Educational Doctorate from NIU for his work concentrating on public school officials' authority over student cyberspeech. Koch's wife, Katie, is a member of the District 155 math faculty, and together they have three children.
Principal, Cary-Grove High School
Neil Lesinski began serving Community High School District 155 as director of curriculum and assessment in the summer of 2016, and became principal of Cary-Grove High School in July 2017. Previously, he served as the English department chairperson for Lakes Community High School District 117. He has also led the career technical education department and taught high school English for seven years. Neil holds a Type 75 certification from Concordia University Chicago, and a bachelor's degree in English from Western Illinois University. Neil is working on his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University.
Principal, Crystal Lake South High School
Josh Nobilio began serving Crystal Lake South High School as principal in 2017. He served as Crystal Lake South High School’s student services coordinator for the past six years. He has collaborated with a team to create and implement student supports to increase student achievement at South. Josh has co-facilitated a parent advisory committee to re-design student services across D155 and helped Crystal Lake South achieve national RAMP certification. In February, Josh was a recipient of the College Board’s Guidance and Admissions Assembly Award. He has also served D155 as a social worker for three years and a special education teacher for three years.
He received his bachelors in special education from Illinois State University, and a masters of social work from Loyola University. He completed his Type 75 administrative certificate from Northern Illinois University and earned a Type 75 director of special education certification from Aurora University.
Director of Communications
Shannon Podzimek joined the district in May 2015 and serves as the director of communications. Previously, she served as a communications specialist for School District U-46, the second largest district in the state of Illinois, providing communication support for 56 schools. In addition, she initiated radio clubs for each high school and created promotional videos for the district. Shannon also has a background in producing television news for several top ABC and NBC affiliates. She received a master's degree in strategic communications from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Kansas.
Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Jay Sargeant serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. He began his educational career 28 years ago in District 155. In that time, he has served the district in a variety of capacities. He was a former mathematics teacher and coach (basketball and baseball) prior to serving 17 years as a building administrator. He served as a Dean of Students at Crystal Lake South High School, Vice Principal at Crystal Lake Central High School, and Principal at Cary-Grove High School.
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services
Scott Shepard serves as the assistant superintendent of educational services. He joined District 155 in July 2013 as principal for Crystal Lake South High School. Previously, he served as principal for Marengo High School where he oversaw curricular enhancements including the addition of new Advanced Placement course offerings, implementation of a one-to-one digital learning environment, created student improvement programs, and focused on enhancing a culture of inclusion. These efforts yielded a “family” atmosphere and greatly improved academic achievement, helping Marengo High School earn a U.S. News & World Report rank as Illinois’ 61st best high school and the nation’s 1,956th. Shepard has 13 years of principal experience including eight years as a principal in Nebraska. He began his career as a math teacher. He was named the Illinois Principals Association 2013 Kishwaukee Region Principal of the Year and was a nominee for the IPA Illinois High School Principal of the Year.
Director of Operations
Troy Stinger joined the District in 2013 and serves as the director of operations. Troy has worked in this district as a building operations supervisor at Cary-Grove High School and Haber Oaks Campus for seven years. In this position, he has managed large projects, participated in long-term strategic planning for facilities management, performed daily oversight of internal systems, and built strong rapport with contractors and construction personnel. Before his time in District 155, Troy gained valuable experience as a Foreman responsible for a wide variety of jobs, both large and small. He is a Certified Professional Maintenance Manager and also served as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT for the Wonder Lake Protections District from 2009-2013. Troy’s unique experience as a tradesman and his ability to form strong relationships with District 155’s operations team will allow him to transition into this leadership position.
Director of Curriculum & Assessment
Matt Timmerman began serving as the director of curriculum and assessment in July 2017. For the last four years, he has supported the district’s faculty members as the director of instructional technology and staff development. In that role, he was the liaison between information technology and the district’s 400-plus faculty members to implement, train, and support the integration of best-practice technology for the classroom. He is responsible for the new faculty induction program, faculty evaluations, and other staff development activities. Prior to joining the administrative team in 2011, he served the district as teacher on special assignment for the past five years, assisting the curriculum office with various endeavors including tracking student achievement data, co-facilitating the District Achievement Team, and helping refine course curriculum maps. Matt joined District 155 in 1998 as a mathematics teacher at Prairie Ridge High School. He has also served Prairie Ridge as an instructional technology leader, and has coached both boys’ and girls’ tennis and basketball. Timmerman is a 1994 graduate of Cary-Grove High School. He holds a Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction from North Central College, a Type 75 certification from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Iowa. Timmerman’s wife, Lauren, is a graduate of Crystal Lake Central. Together they have three children.