New administration to join South rosters in 2024 school year

Rachel Mackey and Alyssa Carino

Lisa Smith, Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, will be stepping up as Plainfield South’s principal starting next school year.

After many years of being principal of Plainfield South, Bob Yanello is retiring from his role (refer to Q&A). Starting in August 2023, Lisa Smith will be taking his place instead as the first ever female principal of the school.

“It is an honor,” Smith said. “I hope it inspires and motivates others to reach for their highest potential.”

Smith, having worked at Plainfield South since its opening in 2001, has filled a variety of roles, including business teacher, Dean of Students, and the Assistant Principal of Attendance, Discipline, and Building Operations. She is currently the Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction.

“I want to continue to create and provide a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels valued and respected,” Smith said. “[Plainfield South] is an environment that is highly cohesive and built on positive relationships, collaboration, and pride.”

Smith is not the only change to South’s administration. Assistant Principal of Attendance, Discipline, and Building Operations, William Bicker, is taking on Smith’s current job as Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction.

“As I started progressing in teaching, I really got passionate about curriculum and instruction and working with teachers, so I had another goal that one day I’d like to be in a leadership position with curriculum and instruction,” Bicker said.

Bicker, having worked in multiple education environments from elementary school to high school, has an optimistic outlook on his new position.

“The main first goal we’re looking at is kind of this global idea of what learning looks like, [so that] when somebody enters our building for the first time, they look around and they instantly see, ‘this is what learning looks like,’” Bicker said.

Adding onto the new roles from Bicker and Smith, a third figure, unnamed at the moment, will be taking on Bicker’s current position as Assistant Principal of Attendance and Discipline.