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Centennial High School in Champaign has a new principal after a viral video and sudden resignation

Current Franklin STEAM Academy Principal Sara Sanders waits for her new appointment on Monday, May 22, 2023.

CHAMPAIGN – Centennial High School will have a new principal, starting July 1.

Current Franklin STEAM Academy Principal Sara Sanders was asked by Champaign Unit 4 Superintendent Shelia Boozer to take on the role.

“The superintendent believes stable leadership at one of our two flagship high schools from someone with a track record as a principal is critical,” said Unit 4 human resources director Ken Kleber.

Sanders has taught and led Franklin for two decades, including 10 years as principal.

The Unit 4 school board approved the promotion on Tuesday.

“As a lifelong resident of Champaign, a product of Unit 4 and a Centennial High School graduate, I’ve had so many educators pour into me, and I cannot wait to do the same for the Charger community,” Sanders told the board.

The previous principal, Scott Savage, resigned in late April after a video circulated of him grabbing a student. He had been principal for one year.

On Monday, the school board also appointed new principals at Robeson Elementary, Jefferson Middle School and Franklin STEAM Academy, among other new administrators.

Emily Hays is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow her on Twitter @amihatt.

Picture of Emily Hays

Emily Hays

Emily Hays started at WILL in October 2021 after three-plus years in local newsrooms in Virginia and Connecticut. She has won state awards for her housing coverage at Charlottesville Tomorrow and her education reporting at the New Haven Independent. Emily graduated from Yale University where she majored in History and South Asian Studies.

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