Moline-Coal Valley School Board approves hiring of two new principals

Local News

The Moline-Coal Valley School District Board of Education approved the hiring of two new principals, Lynsy Oswald at Hamilton Elementary and Tara Bahnks at Willard Elementary, for the 2021-2022 school year.

Mrs. Oswald will replace the current principal, Todd Williams, who is retiring after 17 years of service at the end of the school year.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and families as the principal at Hamilton Elementary School. I am passionate about continuing to make Hamilton a place where everyone feels welcome and all students get what they need to be successful. I am very thankful for this opportunity,” said Mrs. Oswald.

Since 2015, Mrs. Oswald has served as assistant principal at Hamilton, the same elementary school she attended. She began her career in 2005 as a preschool teacher in Aurora, Illinois, later teaching at Garfield Elementary in Moline starting in 2007.

Mrs. Oswald received a Master’s in Education Leadership from Western Illinois University in Moline in 2014. Previously, she earned a Master’s degree in Arts of Teaching from Aurora University in Aurora in 2007. She got a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2005.

“Mrs. Oswald is a proven student-centered and instructional leader. She has earned the respect of students, families, and her colleagues. We look forward to welcoming her in this new role at Hamilton Elementary,” Superintendent Dr. Rachel Savage said.

Mrs. Bahnks currently serves as principal at Mable Woosley Elementary in Knoxville, Illinois. She will replace retiring Willard Principal Victoria Diamond-Bohlman, who has served in the district for 28 years.

“I am truly honored and overjoyed at being named the new principal of Willard Elementary and joining the Moline-Coal Valley School District and community. I look forward to building lasting relationships with the staff, students and parents,” said Mrs. Bahnks.

Mrs. Bahnks has over 20 years of experience in education, that began as a middle school teacher in Galva in 1998. She later taught at Galva Elementary School and a Churchill Junior High School in Galesburg. In 2009, she was promoted to Dean of Students at Churchill Junior High. Mrs. Bahnks became principal at Woolsey Elementary in 2011.

Mrs. Bahnks earned a Master’s degree in Education in 2010 and a Master’s degree in Education Specialist in 2015, both at Western Illinois University in Macomb. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in English earned 1992 and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education earned in 2015, both from Illinois State University in Normal.

“Mrs. Bahnks brings a wealth of experiences to the Moline-Coal Valley School District. Her background in literacy, social-emotional learning, and supporting teachers through coaching will ensure a positive and smooth transition for the Willard learning community,” Superintendent Dr. Rachel Savage said.

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