Tri-Valley District Leadership Team


Our administrative team is listed below.  Please click on any name to e-mail the member of the team directly.

Mrs. Sara Burnett
Middle School School Principal

I would personally like to welcome everyone to Tri-Valley Elementary. I have had the pleasure to be the Principal of this outstanding school since the fall of 2007.  My husband, Cory, and I, along with our son, Luke, are a part of this community and we are proud to call this our home!  I was born and raised in Tremont.  I graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences.  I then received a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University and continued my studies to receive my administration certificate in 2005. 


I am honored to be Principal at Tri-Valley Elementary working with amazing students, families, and a wonderful group of dedicated professionals. Our priority is to provide a high quality education for every student, every day.  If you should ever have any questions, concerns or of course proud moments, please contact me.  I am always here to help all of our families.

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Mr. Tyler Swearingen

Principal, Tri-Valley Elementary School


I have been lucky enough to work in the Tri-Valley district for almost my entire career. I started out as a student teacher in 1st grade, then 2 years in Lexington,  then back to Tri-Valley as a 3rd grade teacher and now the elementary principal. During my time here, I have been encouraged to grow professionally and been supported by teachers, administrators and the community in all of my roles in the district. This collaboration between all areas of Tri-Valley has made it a special place for me and am grateful for the opportunity to continue in this district.


I believe in helping to create a supportive environment that maximizes your children's potential and helps them grow into the people you aspire to see. As a parent, I am excited to have my kids experience the love, warmth, and dedication our teachers show each and every day. As a principal, I am incredibly proud of our staff and their ability to reach kids, push them, and help them grow. 


I am married to Kristin and have two kids, Jack and Leni. My family is my top priority followed by the growth, achievement and wellbeing of your kids here. I have become a golf enthusiast, love to read, work outdoors, vacation with my family, and enjoy all sports. I encourage everyone to participate in the positive things our community and school have to offer and look forward to working with you all for many years!

Mr. Ben Derges
High School Principal
Welcome to Tri-Valley! I have served as the principal at Tri-Valley High School since the 2014-2015 school year. I am proud to be a part of this excellent school district and I truly believe that Tri-Valley High School has one of the best faculties in Illinois. I am originally from Fisher, IL, and much of my prior professional experiences are from Fisher. For seven years I was a junior high and high school social studies teacher, followed by six years as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Fisher H.S.
I hold a Bachelors Degree in history as well as a Masters Degree in educational leadership from the University of Illinois. I also served six years in the Illinois Army National Guard. I have been happily married to my wife, Sara, for six years. Sara and I have a young daughter, Elliana, and are expecting another child in the spring of 2015. When I am not at Tri-Valley High School, I enjoy traveling with my family, cooking, and following the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Bears.
Mrs. Gail McCane
Special Services Coordinator

I am excited to be Tri-Valley's Director of Special Services. I have the privilege of working with students, parents, and staff at all three buildings in the district.  I received my undergraduate degree from ISU in special education, my master's degree in curriculum and instruction from NIU, and my Type 75 principal's certificate from ISU. I taught special education and general education for twelve years in Lake Forest, Illinois and in The Woodlands, Texas. I have also worked for ISU as a supervisor of practicum and student teachers in special education.  When my husband and I moved back to central Illinois, there was no doubt what school district we would reside in.   We are thrilled that our twin daughters can attend Tri-Valley Middle School. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, including camping, boating, and scrapbooking. I am eager to work with more families in the Tri-Valley school district, as we strive to meet the individualized needs of students.

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Mr. Josh White
Technology Coordinator
I was born and raised in El Paso. I served in the Army National Guard for 8 years where my most recent tour was to Afghanistan where I mentored over 140 Afghan National Police. In between my deployments I was enrolled at Illinois Central College and Heartland Community College. Because of my many deployments, I have yet to finish school. Im currently 2 credits away from my associates in Computer Science, and then will look to transfer to ISU for my bachelors. Im married to (Marney) and we have a baby boy named Dexter. This is my third year with Tri-Valley, and I’m very proud to be here!