About Us

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope it informs you of the duties of Regional Office of Education (ROE) #20 and other programs that are provided through this ROE and related institutions. Feel free to visit our offices or call us if you have any questions about the services that we provide. The Regional Office of Education is here to serve you.

Dr. Beth Rister, Ed.D

Regional Superintendent of Schools


Sarah Emery

Assistant Regional Superintendent


Melody Bond - 

Bookkeeper & HR


Shannon Henson -

Carmi Office Manager & Administrative Assistant


Susan Smith -

 Harrisburg Office Manager & Administrative Assistant


Cindy Baumgart -  

Optional Education Director & LAB School Principal


Vince Mitchell - 



Richard Morgan - 



Darlene Waier - 

Regional SEL & Trauma Responsive Coordinator


Michaella Cunningham

SEL Assistant


Kendra Winter

Elementary SEL Liaison & Truancy Interventionist


Susan Howton

Elementary SEL Liaison & Truancy Interventionist


Keith Brown - 

Supplemental Services Coordinator & Truancy Interventionist 


Tracy Jones - 

Truancy Intervention Communication & Reception


Roscoe Brashears - 

Truancy Interventionist


Brad Lee - 

Truancy Interventionist



The mission of the Regional Office of Education #20 is to serve as an advocate for education providing positive leadership, performing regulatory functions as directed by the School Code of Illinois and the Illinois State Board of Education, coordinating and delivering state and local services and disseminating information to educators, school districts and the community.


The Role of the Regional Superintendent

The Regional Superintendent of Schools is the chief administrative officer of a Regional Office of Education, and the only elected education professional office in Illinois. ROEs are essential support offices partnering with the Illinois State Board of Education to support local school districts.

As an intermediate agency between the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts, the office of the Regional Superintendent performs regulatory functions as directed by the Illinois School Code.

The Code states that “the Regional Superintendent of Schools:

… shall exercise supervision over all school districts in the region.

… shall act as the official advisor and assistant of the school officers and teachers in his region.

In the performance of this duty he shall carry out the advice of the State Superintendent of Education.”

In addition to coordinating and delivering state and local services, the Regional Superintendent acts as an advocate for education by providing positive leadership and disseminating information for educators, school districts and the public. Specific duties of the Regional Superintendent are stated in the School Code and can be summarized in two major areas, service and assurance to the public.

Service components include the dissemination of information on education legislation, legal issues, cooperative management, research and administration. The Regional Superintendent also provides information to citizens about state and local programs that will help meet the needs of their children. Each service component requires specific skills placing the Regional Superintendent as an intermediate agent who brings together people, concepts and resources to provide educational services.

Assurances to the public cover areas such as fiscal responsibilities, local school performances, life safety, certification, supervision and curriculum. In these areas legislation places enforcement responsibilities on the Regional Superintendent to guarantee that certain minimums are met and legal parameters followed.

During the course of the school year, the Regional Superintendent staff receive numerous telephone calls, letters and visits from parents, school personnel, and citizens concerning a multitude of educational concerns. It is the policy of the Regional Superintendent to give prompt service and accurate information to any individual or group seeking assistance.