Dr. Russell (R. Scott)
Job Title: Executive Director
Educational Background: After graduating from Concordia (Class of 1965) and Peoria Central, I received various degrees culminating in a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Illinois State University. I also hold Illinois Certificates for Teaching, General School Administration and Superintendent Endorsement.
Why did you choose to become an educator? While working as a Deputy for the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department in the mid 1970’s, I had the opportunity to train police officers in emergency response techniques with Illinois Central College in a program entitled Crisis Intervention. This experience made me realize how much I enjoyed teaching. In 1975, I married a teacher and began assisting her in coaching young people. At that time, I discovered how much I enjoyed working with young people and teaching them and I made the decision to become a teacher. Throughout the course of my career in education I have held a number of teaching and administrative positions, and retired in July 2007 from Morton CUSD as superintendent.
As an educator in both the secular and Lutheran school systems, explain your beliefs about sending children to Christian schools. I have suffered criticism from secular groups and individuals for sending my own children to a non-public school. However, there is no better preparation for a Christian life than attending a school where you start the day off with a prayer, you eat lunch after saying grace and you receive regular Christian instruction.
What attracted you to Concordia? I truly believe that the Good Lord has guided me to be at Concordia at this point in my life. Being an alumnus, I have always had a special place in my heart for Concordia, and feel truly blessed to be Principal at this time. What an honor to be an alumnus, to have had children and now grandchildren at Concordia, and to be the Principal during the 50th Anniversary of Concordia’s birth!
How has Concordia impacted your life? As a Concordia alumnus, I often think about how my experiences at Concordia prepared me for life! I look back with appreciation that I had parents who sacrificed and insisted that I go to a Christian school like Concordia, which taught me about God, Jesus and the Bible. I believe that my insistence that my own children also receive that same opportunity will “pay off”, and that they too will be prepared for a Christian life because of their own Lutheran school experiences.
What makes Concordia unique? Concordia is unique because it is supported by the Concordia family, which is made up of the Mount Calvary, Redeemer and Trinity congregations and leaders, the students and their families, the faculty and staff, and the Board. Each of these entities plays an integral role in the Concordia family.
Why would you recommend Concordia to families? Concordia gives children a solid academic and spiritual experience, and provides activities for children with a variety of interests. In addition, I have entrusted my most prized possessions — my own children — to Concordia, and my son (a Concordia graduate) will be sending his daughter to Concordia this fall.
Family at Concordia: I was a 1965 Concordia graduate. My son, Ben, and daughter, Carly, both graduated from Concordia. My granddaughter, Suzi, will enroll this fall in Kindergarten. My wife, Nan, and our family are members at Redeemer where our twin daughters, Kaitlyn and Kenzie, attended Redeemer Preschool.
Outside Interests: I love to work out. Many years ago, I competed as a powerlifter, and still enjoy working out today. I like to take long bike rides and have traveled to Starved Rock, Hannibal, Missouri, and numerous other long bike trips.
In the News: Click here to read a recent Journal Star article in which Dr. Russell explains what Concordia means to him.
“Concordia exists for the students and their families. Our goal is to provide each and every student with a strong academic and spiritual experience with as many opportunities as possible for solid extracurricular experiences. My goal is to make Concordia greater every day that I am there!”