Name: Amy Zahm-Duncheon

Occupation: Eisenhower High School principal

Where she lives: Decatur

What is your background in teaching and being an administrator?

I graduated in 2002 from Saint Louis University with a master’s degree in social work. I started my education career as a school social worker through Mid-State Special Education in Taylorville. I worked in the Pana School District for three years (and) taught classes through Lakeland Community College. I then got a job within the Springfield Public School District. In 2012, I became the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Eisenhower High School. In 2015, I graduated with a doctoral degree in education from Saint Louis University. This is my fourth year as principal and I love my job, staff and students. 

What interested you in working at schools?

I have always enjoyed working with children and youth. As a high school student, I knew I wanted to go into the field of social work. After high school, I began working with at-risk children though church and mentoring programs within my community. I wanted to support children's social emotional needs in order for them to have the most success possible. 

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Creative, determined, honest.

Do you have an overall goal or a message you spread with students, in which you hope they remember or also exhibit?

“You are worthy." I want students to know that they are worthy of love, worthy of success, worthy of happiness, worthy of their voice being heard and the list goes on. When students believe in themselves, their possibilities are endless. 

The gift of education is one of the the greatest gifts you can give a child. It is essential to have compassionate and dedicated teachers in front of students, so allocating adequate funding to support highly qualified teachers is worth the investment. Evidence-based funding has been a move in the right direction. The teacher shortage is real, so it is vital to retain and support the great teachers we do have in Decatur. Decatur Public Schools is has so many great educational experiences to offer students, so the continued community support is needed and so very much appreciated. We must invest in our future!  

A look at previous Herald & Review '5 Questions'

Contact Kennedy Nolen at (217) 421-6985. 


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