Kristie Campbell has been a part of the Effingham community since she returned in 2004 to create firefly grill with her husband, Niall. A self taught educator, Kristie began to define her vision for an innovative school when she was pregnant with her daughter Camden in 2011. Buckeye Friends School is based on a deep belief that all kids have limitless potential and a great opportunity to thrive when they are given the freedom to explore, create and pursue their own passions. Kristie wants Buckeye to be the most interesting place on earth for her students, and a space where the only reason they look at the clock is because they are afraid there won’t be enough time left in the day.
Starting their 4th year, the team is successfully executing this lofty goal. Buckeye students want to be at school more than anywhere else, they think summer is too long and that we have too many breaks. Though Buckeye has very little homework, students are constantly staying late to work on their projects, to read together, to work on their novels, to play Dungeons and Dragons and various sports and to choreograph dances for their troop.
This year BFS was supposed to have its first graduating senior. In an unequivocal example of how well the innovative BFS curriculum works, this student did so well on her college entrance exams that she graduated one year early and is now a successful full time student in college.
Buckeye is doing for education, what firefly did for food in Effingham County. Achieving the seemingly impossible to elevate what this amazing community has to offer. Not every school is a great fit for every student. Buckeye offers an alternative for families who believe that the assumptions of the industrial-age-models of schooling are no longer sufficient for children to thrive in the 21st century.
Firefly was created to attract talent to Effingham businesses, it is the space where the majority of recruiting is achieved. Kristie hopes that BFS will also attract and retain talent for our community, countering the rural brain drain happening in small midwest towns.
Brian comes to Buckeye in a full-time capacity as Integrator & Co-Learner having served on our Board of Directors for the past 2 years. He resides in Robinson, Illinois with his wife, Valerie, and three children - Harper, Landry, and Mason. He has a background in elementary education, which was his first career and passion. Following a 15-year career in the Healthcare Information Technology industry, he recently returned to his roots. In his educational roles, he has served as an elementary classroom teacher and reading specialist. Brian enjoys camping & traveling with his family, being outdoors, staying active, gathering with friends, music, reading, and watching his children on the diamond, court, field, and stage. Brian is excited to join the Buckeye community!
Dr. Gabrielle Baker holds a PhD in Education, and a master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and has been working in the field of education for over 14 years. She has worked in various school districts, private therapy and home based services across the ages of preschool-12th grade. Dr. Baker is a mother of three and currently resides in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. Gabrielle is passionate about inclusion of all students.
Carrie Huff has been an educator for over 40 years. She began teaching middle school Language Arts in St. Louis in 1970 and then moved to Maine, where she taught Language Arts, Theatre, French, and Biology for 12 years. She and her family moved to North Carolina in 1992, where she joined the staff of the Carolina Friends School (CFS), a small Quaker school in the woods. During her 25 years at CFS, she was both a teacher and an administrator. After her retirement, Carrie and her husband Greg moved to Effingham in 2017, and she is the very proud mother of 3 grown children and 5 amazing grandchildren. Carrie is excited to be a part of the new Buckeye team!
Lacy Roedl is an Altamont native who now resides in Effingham with her fiancé and two dogs. She attended Eastern Illinois University where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. After graduation, Lacy moved to Chattanooga, TN where she worked in corporate accounting for a year before returning to Effingham and accepting a position as the Chief Financial Officer of Firefly Grill and Buckeye Friends School. Lacy is excited to be a part of the BFS Board. She hopes to use her accounting knowledge to educate the younger generation on budgeting tools and ways to invest in their futures.
Riley Pruemer is a Dieterich native who now resides in Effingham with his girlfriend and their cat, Mare. He attended The University of Illinois where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing. Riley is the owner of Films by Riley, which is a wedding videography company that specializes in creating wedding films for couples. He is also the Director of Marketing for Firefly Grill, where he advances in all things social media. Riley is excited to be a part of the BFS Board to bring a younger perspective to the overall vision of BFS and leverage our social media presence.