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In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, the Telegraph and Daily Gazette newspapers will not be published May 27. Breaking news and information will be updated on

Eastland’s new superintendent from Geneseo

Mark Hansen retiring after 14 years with the district

LANARK – Eastland School District will have a new administrator effective July 1.

The Eastland School Board voted Wednesday to hire Alex Kashner, principal at Northside Elementary School in Geneseo, to replace Mark Hansen, 55, who is retiring.

Kashner, 35, was one of 29 applicants and five finalists, Hansen said in a news release.

He and his wife, Laura, have three daughters, Addison, 6, Molly, 3, and Paige, 3 months, and will move to the area this summer.

He’s looking forward to it. “I fell in love with Eastland,” he said Thursday.

Kashner earned his bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University at Bloomington-Normal and began teaching at Thomas Metcalf School, a laboratory school for ISU. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership at ISU, and an educational specialist degree at Aurora University, where he’s a doctoral student.

After 5 years at Thomas Metcalf, Kashner was hired as the Geneseo Middle School dean of students, before being named principal at Northside.

Hansen won’t be leaving the educational field right away.

“I want to do some kind of education-related work. I do teach some administrators’ academies, offered by the Illinois Association of School Administrators,” he said. “I hope to have a transition plan in place during the second semester.”

The departing superintendent will have spent 35 years in education when he retires June 30, 14 of those at Eastland.

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