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Aspiring Building Leader program names third cohort

Aspiring Building Leaders 3rd CohortThe third cohort has been named for the WPS Aspiring Leader Program which aims to create a pool of highly-qualified and well-trained instructional and relational leaders that stand ready to apply for consideration for any future building leader vacancies.

Participants in the third cohort are:


  • Amber Edomwonyi, music teacher, Linwood Elementary School
  • Brentay Berry, behavior interventionist, Stanley Elementary School
  • Dana Tisdale, student success advocate, Gordon Parks Academy
  • Debra Romero, social worker, Jardine Magnet Middle School
  • Erin Blow, social worker, Greiffenstein-Wells Middle School
  • Hannah Schaake, data leader, Hamilton Middle School
  • Heidi Dreiling, English teacher, South High School
  • Jarron Ogles, Aspiring Building Leadership intern, Robinson Middle School
  • Jonathan Belsan, social studies teacher, Coleman Magnet Middle School
  • Julie Tucker, interrelated teacher, Wilbur Middle School
  • Michael Fibelkorn, music teacher, Brooks Magnet Middle School
  • Sarah Harlan, behavior interventionist, Buckner Magnet Elementary School
  • Sheneta Ross, counselor, Southeast High School
  • Tristan Burrow, behavior interventionist, Lawrence Elementary School
  • Hannah Podschun, English teacher, Northeast Magnet High School


The program provides semester-long coursework delivered by district leaders, building leaders and external educational experts.

For the past four years, USD 259 has worked with the Wallace Foundation to create intentional processes for recruitment, selection, professional growth and retention of  building administrators. This collaboration has provided resources and guidance that have been instrumental in the creation of our leadership pipeline.

The program has resulted in several participants being placed in leadership positions. Two participants have become principals, 20 have become assistant principals and four became administrative interns in buildings.

Chris Wendt, WPS executive director of elementary education and a co-leader of the program, says he’s excited about the program’s success and is ready to continue the work of the ABL program with Cohort 3.

“Our Aspiring Building Leader program is an integral part of our leadership pipeline,” Wendt said. “The program has served an immediate need that has ensured that we have high-quality building leaders ready to serve our students and staff as well as created a sustainable leadership pipeline moving forward for years to come.”

Applications for the fourth cohort will be open in early 2024. More information on the program can be found at