Stacie Franke and Lisa Harris

ALTON – The Alton School District Board of Education approved the appointment of two new principals to lead schools next year. At their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, the Board approved Stacie Franke as the new principal at Alton High School and Lisa Harris as the new principal at North Elementary.

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Franke, currently the Mark Twain School Principal, has served in the District for over two decades. She started her career as a social worker in 2002 at the Motivational Achievement Center. In 2008, she was promoted to the Center’s Dean of Students, followed then by a move to principal in 2017. In 2019, she then became principal of Mark Twain School. Franke holds a master’s degree from St. Louis University and educational administration credentials from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Franke has a depth of knowledge in an array of educational areas including: trauma-informed schools, Professional Learning Communities, restorative practices, curriculum and instruction and many others.

According to Dr. Kristie Baumgartner, Alton Superintendent, Franke’s leadership skills and experience are an excellent fit for Alton High School. “Stacie brings such a wide-ranging skill set in transitioning to this new role. She is both an instructional leader in the truest sense of that role and she is also a systems expert when it comes to layering in meaningful supports that yield high outcomes for both students and staff. Her deep care for students, along with the positive school culture she has been able to cultivate at Mark Twain, are going to be tremendous assets in leading Alton High.”

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Franke will replace Michael Bellm, current Alton High Principal, who is transitioning to Director of Student Services for the District on July 1. Franke said that moving to Alton High is exciting and she is looking forward to the challenge. “With already having high school students at Mark Twain and being at Alton High on a regular basis, I already know how outstanding the faculty and staff are which is the most exciting part for me. I am looking forward to being a part of their impressive team and continuing to serve our students at the highest levels possible,” she said.

Lisa Harris, Alton Middle School Assistant Principal, will be making the move to serve as North Elementary Principal for the 2024-2025 school year. Harris has been with the Alton School District since 2006. Teaching middle school social studies and science for eleven years, she was then promoted to assistant principal in 2017. Harris holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Harris has a vast knowledge of curriculum and instruction, the school improvement process and using data to drive continuous improvement. She was also one of the founding administrators involved in the launch of Capturing Kids Hearts (CKH) – a student relationship-building framework for staff that is currently implemented at the middle school. Alton Middle School has been named a CKH National Showcase School based on their successful implementation.

Baumgartner noted that Harris has a strong work ethic and goes to great lengths in serving both students and staff. “Lisa is so incredibly committed to the success of her students. She has a keen understanding of best practices in teaching and learning. Even more importantly, she is able to truly create traction when it comes to increasing student achievement. Her hard work has resulted in numerous benefits and meaningful outcomes for our students.”

Harris will begin her new position as North Elementary Principal also on July 1 and is looking forward to the new opportunity. “I am excited and honored to join North Elementary School. I am looking forward to building relationships with the talented teachers and staff and making sure every moment counts for our students and families.”

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