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Dr. Jeff Thake

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Dr. Jeff Thake is beginning his 24th year in public education. He is beginning his  8th year as a school superintendent. Prior to becoming a superintendent, He served five years as a high school principal, two years as a high school associate principal, two years as a middle school dean of students, and seven years in the classroom.


Dr. Thake earned his bachelor’s degree (Music Education) from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. His master’s degree is from Aurora University in educational leadership. He recently earned his doctorate from Aurora University. His dissertation is titled: An Examination of Rural Students Engagement with College and Career Planning.


He has been an active member of three elite cohorts and consortiums through the American Association of School Administrators for the past three years: AASA Personalized Learning Cohort, AASA Digital Consortium, and AASA Redefining Ready Cohort.


The educational transformations made in his last position attracted numerous accolades, including presentations all over the United States at educational leadership conferences. Huffington Post and Education Talk Radio also were interested in their journey to 1:1 and personalized learning.


While in Illinois as a superintendent, his peers elected him to serve on an advisory board to the Illinois State Board of Education. Last year, he was elected by his peers to serve on the AASA Governing Board.


Dr. Thake is married to his wife (Melissa) of nearly 22 years. Melissa has her degree in elementary education. His son (Logan) is beginning his senior year at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. Logan is student teaching this Fall (elementary education major) and he has aspirations to be a teacher and a coach. Logan also plays baseball for Knox College, as a left-handed pitcher.


His interests include educational research, baseball, basketball, football and hockey. He enjoys playing golf when he is able. He still plays the trumpet. He is known simply as blues trumpet player “Jeff from Chicago” in the French Quarter in New Orleans and on Beale Street in Memphis, TN.


You may contact Dr. Thake at or follow his Facebook Page (Dr. Jeff Thake – Superintendent of Williston Public School District 1)

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