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New principal set for Challand Middle School

Birdsley will move from Washington Elementary School

Published: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST
(Philip Marruffo/
Matt Birdsley

STERLING – Starting next year, Challand Middle School will have a new principal.

On Wednesday night, the Sterling School Board approved the hire of Matt Birdsley to the position. Birdsley is currently principal at Washington Elementary.

Birdsley will be replacing Kathy Howard, who served the role for 6 years and is retiring.

He’s been at Washington for the past 2 years, but started out his time with the district as assistant principal at Challand.

“So I’ve kind of come full circle,” Birdsley said.

Plus, his teaching background is at the middle school level – seventh-grade math, language arts and social studies, so it all makes sense.

“I’m very excited. Very glad to be back,” he said.

Birdsley is originally from Fulton. He went to Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where he got his start in teaching. Then, 3 years ago, he and his wife moved their family to the Sauk Valley.

“We live in Sterling now,” he said. “And we love it here.”

There is not yet a replacement tabbed for Birdsley at Washington, a need the board will address soon.

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