Our Team

Kristie Campbell
Founder and Director

Kristie Campbell

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. 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.

Carrie Huff
Co-founder and Co-learner

Carrie Huff

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!

Dawn Hootselle
Before and After-School Program Director


Dawn has lived in the St. Louis area for most of her life. In 2016, she and her family relocated to Effingham so that her husband Tom could begin working at Dieterich Bank. They have two sons, TJ and Alex. Dawn has been working in the education field since 1995 when she graduated from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL (Go Cougars!). She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Dawn has tremendous experience with all different grade levels and ages. It is with much excitement that Dawn joins the Buckeye team to run the before and after-school program!

Lisa Light


Lisa Light is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a BA in History and an MS in Educational Psychology and Guidance.  Lisa moved back to Effingham 14 years ago after moving around the Midwest with her family in support of her husband’s career.  Along with raising her children, Lisa has been an educator for over 20 years with experience ranging from young children to adults.  She has also worked as a counselor in all age levels in a variety of settings. Lisa loves reading, walking, creating and baseball (GO Cards!).  She is excited to enter into a new adventure with the Buckeye Friends School family.

Kody Czerwonka

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Kody Czerwonka comes from a family of teachers and so the desire and passion to continue learning is deeply rooted within Kody. Kody holds multiple positions within a couple of non-profit organizations with a focus on community. He is an original founding board member of the Tuscola GSA Booster Club whose mission is to "support safety, liberty and justice for all persons in Tuscola and the surrounding communities." Kody is also the Vice Grand of the Tuscola Odd Fellows, an international fraternity that promotes philanthropy.
Kody also has many other different passions including film, kayaking, hiking, reading, playing sports, and learning something new every day. Kody hopes to share these passions and learn more about the seeds' passions in this school year. He is excited for this opportunity to co-learn, and not only help his seeds grow, but also grow himself.