Gary Tipsord, Leroy CUSD's Superintendent
Hired in 2006 to replace the retired Ed Coller, Gary Tipsord became Leroy CUSD's superintendent after years of teaching and coaching within the district. Four years prior to his unanimous selection as Leroy's superintendent, Tipsord was named principal of Leroy Junior-Senior High School, preparing him well to guide Leroy's revered school system.
Tipsord began teaching junior high science in the district in 1991 and moved to the high school science department in 1993. He has also been an athletic coach during his entire tenure in LeRoy.
From superintendent Tipsord:
"My children and now my grandchildren can attend one of the best school districts in the state. A district which embraces the latest technology and learning techniques; which doesn't forget about the kids who have special needs; which has LIFE, STEM, LeRoy Preparatory Academy, RIGHT Start, before and after school care and a cadaver lab. A school district which offers children the opportunity to explore the arts and participate in sports and many other activities. And despite the State of Illinois a school board which has been frugal enough to keep the doors open with most of its programs intact."
Tipsord's Impact On Leroy CUSD
Tipsord has continued to move Leroy CUSD forward, pushing for accountability, continuous improvement, and increased emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In 2015, he was voted a "Superintendent of Distinction" by fellow members of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.
Together with faculty and staff, he has helped strengthen and improve the education students receive from Leroy CUSD. We hope that you'll see the benefits and opportunities the Leroy CUSD has to offer. We think it's a special community and we hope that your child will feel right at home.
Students at Leroy schools earn test scores higher than the state average.
Leroy schools offer a better student-teacher ratio than both the state and national average.
Test scores higher than Bloomington IL, Heyworth IL, Mansfield IL, among others.
While at LeRoy, Tipsord has helped create several programs, including a Cadaver Anatomy Lab in partnership with the McLean County Medical Society; LeRoy Right Start, a preschool program; and LeRoy Preparatory Academy alternative school. In 2016, the district earned accreditation from third-party school assessor, AdvancED.
Tipsord has also heavily promoted the Vision 20/20 plan, a blueprint devised for reformed Illinois education created by various educators in the state. He advocated for its new evidence-based funding model, which generates a target for adequate educational resources based on each district's specific needs based on student enrollment, geographic location, and 27 academic elements.
Tipsord has helped renovate the Leroy CUSD's facilities. At his request, the LeRoy Educational Advancement Foundation presented the district a check for $30,000 to kick-start funding for a new early education playground.
The playground is specially engineered to “create cognitive thinking in an unstructured learning environment,” Tipsord said.
Best School District Near Bloomington-Normal | Gary Tipsord
The Leroy CUSD offers students focused, innovative development in STEM fields, making it one of the best school districts near Bloomington-Normal, IL. The STEM club at LeRoy Elementary is supported by Imagination.org, and the district will partner with teachers from Bloomington District 87, to expand and enrich the STEM curriculum and classroom lessons in both districts.
Examples of efforts being made throughout our district:
- The upstairs computer lab at the high school has transitioned into a STEM lab and houses a daily exploratory class for our JH students
- Once a month STEM session for our 5th-grade students
- Created a partnership with an outside stakeholder, Shive-Hattery Architects, to bring a practical experience alongside some of our STEM lessons
- “Everyone Can Code” an apple resource that is available through iTunes
- Kindergarten has used Defined STEM resources to support work already being done as a part of our Georgia Math units
- Grade 1 “From Seed to Plan” performance task
- Grade 2 “Farmers and the Economy”
- Grade 3 “Backpack and Toy Designer” performance task and a Volcanology Contest
Leroy CUSD is also working to improve the education experience for students potentially interested in the medicinal field. The district partners with The McLean County Medical Society (MCMS) to host a Human Anatomy Cadaver Dissection Lab for High School Students who might be interested in a career in medicine.
The collaborative project is designed for area high school students with a strong interest in exploring a future medical career. The partnership is unique, not only to the area but to the state. The MCMS is not aware of any other areas in the state where local health professionals have teamed up with educators to offer such an advanced program for high school students.
Tipsord has been a driving force behind the program. He said, “If we desire a world-class education for the future of our children and our country, then those of us with a skill set and willingness need to engage in innovative ways.” Tipsord further commented, “It is refreshing to have such an interest in McLean County, from both educational leaders and from leaders in the field of medicine.”
In a recent evaluation by third-party assessor AdvancED, the school received praise and encouragement. The assessment recorded respectful and engaged students, positive culture within our classrooms and beyond, strong peer supports between students and staff that genuinely cares for our children.
The assessors also recognized the uniqueness of our approach to teaching and learning and celebrated both our commitment to what we believe in and in the impact of that system on student learning. They also celebrated the Board of Education for their commitment to providing an environment that allows our staff to work in the best interest of each and every child.
Leroy CUSD is also committed to giving students opportunities to complete dual credit and AP courses, which have been shown to be hugely beneficial for high school students, especially those planning to attend college. In fact, recent data shows that students who were exposed to college coursework while in high school were 2.2 times more likely to enroll in a two- or four-year college, two times more likely to return after the freshman year of college, and 1.7 times more likely to earn a college degree within six years.
Tipsord has also emphasized the relationship between city and school district, and for good reason. As he said, one is reliant on the other. As a community, the city of Leroy has a lot to offer. We're happy to call Leroy home, and we hope you will be as well.