School year opens with new faces at Urbana


A number of changes within the administrative ranks of the Urbana City School District are in place for the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

The new staff includes a Director of Special Education, Urbana Junior High Principal and Assistant Principal, along with a new assistant principal at Urbana Elementary.

Emily Smith, the new Director of Special Education, comes to Urbana from Graham Local where she held a variety of positions over nine years including Director of Special Education, Director of Student Services and Assistant Superintendent.

Smith previously was a first grade intervention specialist for seven years at the former Urbana North Elementary. She is a 2001 graduate of Urbana City Schools and a 2006 graduate of Wittenberg University.

Upon her hiring with Urbana, Smith said, “The excitement that comes with the opportunity to return to my hometown and serve in the district I grew up in is such an honor.”

Emily and her husband live in the Urbana School District with their two children, Nolan (10 years old) and Lyla (6 years old) who both attend Urbana Elementary and participate in several activities throughout the school and community. Her husband, Kent, owns a local business. Smith’s parents, sisters, nieces and nephew live in the Urbana area and, like Emily, are thrilled to be back together in Hillclimber Country.

Scott Blackburn is the new Principal of Urbana Junior High. He has worked his entire educational career in Clark and Champaign counties. Blackburn received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University and his Master’s Degree from Wright State University. Starting as an intervention specialist at the junior high level, Scott transitioned from the classroom into school administration where he has served a number of districts for the past 23 years. “I am excited to work with the Urbana Junior High School team of educators to provide the best educational experience for all of our students,” stated Blackburn.

Amy Hegyi will be transitioning from a teaching role at Urbana Junior High to the Assistant Principal position. Hegyi has been with the Urbana School District for seven years as a classroom teacher and previously taught math at Graham Local Schools for 13 years.

“I’m so excited to have the privilege to take on a new challenge as an assistant principal. I’m looking forward to working with the students, staff, and families at UJHS.” Hegyi shared.

Mrs. Hegyi also has been serving as Dean of Toll Run, one of the four UJHS Houses, since 2019. “I’ve enjoyed serving Urbana in these roles and cherish the relationships that I’ve built throughout my years here with the students and staff,” said Hegyi.

Amy and her family have lived in Urbana for the past five years. Her daughter will be going into eighth grade in the fall and has been a student at Urbana since first grade. Hegyi and her family love spending nights and weekends supporting all the Hillclimber teams.

The new Urbana Elementary Assistant Principal this Fall will be Brett Stewart. Originally from Springfield, Brett graduated from Shawnee High School in 2004 before earning a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a graduate degree from Concordia University of Chicago.

As a prior boys tennis coach for Urbana High School a few years ago, Stewart shared, “I know this district takes great pride in their schools and community and I am looking forward to contributing to the success of this wonderful district.”

Stewart taught at Emmanuel Christian Academy in Springfield for three years before moving to the Reynoldsburg City School District and spending the last six years at Waggoner Road Middle School.





Submitted story

Info from Urbana City Schools

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