Wilson named Johnston’s new Director of SEBMH

Cw pictureJOHNSTON, IA. (April 28, 2022) — Chris Wilson will become the Johnston Community School District’s new Director of SEBMH (Social-Emotional, Behavior, Mental Health), under a reorganization of the district’s leadership following the departure of one of its executive directors. 

Wilson, currently the district’s student well-being coordinator, will assume her new role July 1 following the departure of Joy Wiebers, the Executive Director of Student Services, who has accepted a job as regional director for Region 5 of Heartland Area Education Agency. 

Wilson has worked in the Johnston Community School District for more than 20 years. She’s served as the district’s student well-being coordinator since 2016, spearheading private and public collaborations to best meet student mental health needs. Prior to that, she served as the district’s prevention coordinator since 2000, coordinating school-based prevention services including school-based mentoring, positive youth development and programming to support students at risk of dropping out of high school. 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue and expand upon my lifelong work in this area,” Wilson said. “I’m passionate about the well-being of our students, and supporting young people to help them reach their full potential.”

Under Wilson’s new role, she will provide oversight of PK- 12 Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in the area of social-emotional learning and the district’s student well-being programs. She will work closely with the district’s counselors and social workers in the areas of student well-being and at-risk populations.

“We are so fortunate to have Chris Wilson’s expertise to further serve our students in this growing and extremely important area of social-emotional, behavior and mental health,” said JCSD Superintendent Laura Kacer.

The Johnston school board on April 25 approved the reorganization of Johnston Community School District leadership. Under the plan, JCSD will sunset Wiebers’ position. Other changes include:

  • Chris Wilson as the new SEBMH director, who will report to Tara Owen, the Executive Director of School Leadership. 
  • A new Student Services Coordinator, who will assist with special education programming and will coordinate services for ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), ELP (Extended Learning Program), school nurses, ChildServe, Ellipsis and 504 (education plans for students with disabilities).  
  • Vickie McCool, the Director of Special Education, will report to the Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning.
  • Louis Fountain, the Director of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging will report directly to the superintendent.

While the superintendent’s Cabinet will decrease from five to four, directors and coordinators in the district will have more regular meetings with the Cabinet to ensure representation of different groups in the district.