Timothy "Tim" Blair is the new assistant principal and athletic director at Chester Grade School. Blair was hired shortly after former assistant principal and AD, David Kaiser, resigned toward the end of the summer to accept other employment closer to his home.
Asked how he is adjusting to life at CGS, Blair said, "I won't lie, I am learning a lot every day. The AD position is challenging and I am still learning the duties of assistant principal."
But Blair likes where he's landed, and says the CGS faculty and staff function like a big family.
"Since everyone gets along so well, my job has been enjoyable," he said. "I commute to Sparta every day, but it is a manageable 20-minute drive. All is well!"
Blair was born in Red Bud to William and Kathleen Blair, but was raised on the family farm in Sparta, helping his family with the corn, soybeans and 70 cows. He found time to run track and cross country in junior high and play the tenor saxophone. He was a member of the Beta Club and maintained good grades.
At Sparta High School, Blair ran cross-country and track and field. He was primarily a distance runner and enjoyed the mile, 2-mile and other distance events. He also was active in the Sparta chapter of the Future Farmers of America.
After graduating high school in 2005, Blair attended Rend Lake College, where he earned an associate degree in Agriculture Business in 2007. He transferred to SIU-Carbondale to get a bachelor's degree in elementary education, with a specialty in middle school science. He graduated from SIU-C in 2010.
For the past 10 years Blair has taught middle school science at Spring Garden Middle School in Ina, where he also coached baseball, softball, and track -- and even drove a school bus for his school. Simultaneously he studied for a master's in school administration at McKendree University and earned his principal's certification.
Mr. Blair has been married to his wife, Ariel for seven years. She is a dental assistant and has been attending Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) to become a nurse.
"In our spare time we love to take trips and enjoy hiking," Blair said. "I love watching all sports and still enjoy helping my dad on our farm. Ariel likes to bake, cook and travel. And we love going on vacations!"