Cruser named WJHS assistant principal

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Amber Cruser

The Waterloo School Board unanimously voted at its meeting Monday night to name Amber Cruser assistant principal at Waterloo Junior High School.

Cruser is replacing Jessica Washausen, who is taking over for Dawn Ivers as principal at Gardner Elementary school. 

“I am truly honored at this opportunity,” Cruser said.
“The pride I have for Waterloo schools is unwavering. We, without a doubt, have the best staff, students and families. I am eager to join the administrative team at WJHS and continue providing high-quality learning experiences with an amazing group of educators.”

Cruser coached cheerleading in the district from 2008 to 2018, when she resigned before having twins. She also works as a media specialist in the district, a role that most recently required her to revamp the district’s website. 

The search committee had “a number of very good internal candidates” but unanimously decided to recommend Cruser for the position, according to WJHS Principal Nick Schwartz. 

“I’m very proud of her,” Waterloo Superintendent Brian Charron said of Cruser. “I think she has been a tremendous professional, serving the district in many ways throughout the year. She is extremely efficient, assertive, great with technology and has been a part of conversations over the years, working with teams of teachers to improve education in the district.”

In other personnel news, the board unanimously OK’d the hiring of Zachary Smith to replace Michael Mullins as director of bands. Smith has been working in a Chicago suburb for the past few years, but he student taught in Carbondale. 

“He wanted to come back here,” Waterloo High School Principal Lori Costello said. “He loved this area, loved this community and loved the ability to get to a bigger city. I think he’s going to be a great fit.”

A final noteworthy matter the board approved was establishment of an endowment fund for the district. 

It did that because a currently unknown donor left an undisclosed amount of money to the district.

To access that money, which is for general use at WHS, the district first needed to create an endowment fund. 

With that done, it should soon know more details about the donation. 

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