The Tri-Point School Board of Education has announced that it has selected and hired the new superintendent of Tri-Point Board Unit District 6J at the December School Board meeting on December 15.

Current Superintendent Jeff Bryan is retiring after nine years with the school district. Jay Bennett will replace Bryan effective July 1, 2022.

Employed for the past nine years as principal of Tri-Point Upper Elementary/Junior High School, Bennett previously spent 13 years teaching junior high social studies and coaching high school volleyball in Rantoul.

“The Board of Education is excited that Jay will be our new leader for Tri-Point. Great things are happening in our school district and Mr. Bennett has played a vital role in those changes, such as standard based grading and implementing a STEM Lab at the Junior High,” said Board President Cherie Smolkovich. “I’m excited to begin this journey with Mr. Bennett as Superintendent. He brings a spirit of teamwork, and a commitment to our faculty, staff and students.”

The upper elementary/junior high school where Bennett currently serves as principal happens to also be where he attended school as a student during junior high school and his freshman year of high school. During the 1991-91 school year, the Piper City school building was known as Ford Central High School/Junior High School. It would be the final school year for the Ford Central school district, which dissolved in 1992.

A Thawville native, Bennett went on to attend Iroquois West High School, graduating in 1995. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in school leadership from the University of Illinois.

The selection is the result of a national search conducted with the assistance of the Illinois Association of School Boards that produced applicants from diverse geographic and professional backgrounds.