Skip To Main Content

School Header

Logo Container

logo-image

Location

Schools

Search Button

Trigger Container

Breadcrumb

Our Team

Valerie Montgomery

Valerie Montgomery

Principal

Valerie Montgomery has been in the Cherokee family since we opened our doors in 1994. She was a 3rd grade and 4th grade teacher and Assistant Principal at Cherokee for many years, in addition to serving as Principal at Woodland Elementary. Valerie moved back to Cherokee (her home away from home) in 2016 as the Principal at Cherokee. She just finished her 29th year in education…all in Lakota. Valerie is married with 3 grown children, all former Cheetahs.  She enjoys snow skiing, vacationing at the beach, and cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats.


Valerie enjoys spending quality time with students, visiting classrooms and bringing our facility dog, Tecna, to visit with our Cheetahs. She reminds them daily to use their Cheetah PRIDE skills, stay above the line, and ALWAYS be kind! 

Michael Stapleton

Michael Stapleton

Assistant Principal

Mike is very excited to join the Cherokee family!

He began his educational journey at Ohio State with a bachelors in K-12 PE/Health. Mike received his Masters degree in 2017 at Walden University in Educational Leadership and finished up his Principal's Licensure program at Xavier University. 

Mike and his wife (Brittany) have a two year old son named Luke. Mike takes pride in being a dad and hopes to make Luke as big of an Ohio State fan as he is, which is a challenge. Mike’s wife is a first grade teacher in the Little Miami School District. Together they love sports, boating, and going on beach vacations!  

Mike strives to be the best leader and educator using a "student first" lens and he believes we can all be lifelong learners! One of his favorite quotes is "Be better today than you were yesterday, be better tomorrow than you were today."
 

Rachel Barsoum

Rachel Barsoum

Registered Nurse

Rachel joined Cherokee in January 2022 after subbing in many of the district clinics.

Rachel has been with Lakota since April of 2021 and has 15 years of nursing experience. She provides health services in the school by assessing and treating injuries and illnesses, along with managing acute and chronic health issues. 

Rachel and her husband have three daughters that all attend Lakota schools.

Jennifer Bielefeld

Jennifer Bielefeld

Office Manager

Jen joined the Cherokee Staff in 2020 as our Office Manager and serves as the Secretary to the Principal. She is the parent of two former Cheetahs who love to stop by on occasion. Jen handles building use requests, parent phone calls, scheduling of field trips, assemblies, building budgetary items and forming connections with our students.

Jenny Haynes

Jenny Haynes

Innovation Speciallist

Jenny provides teachers with professional development and coaching related to Lakota’s initiatives on innovation and personalized learning. Jenny also supports curriculum and instructional design and delivery, and the evolution of spaces such as the Innovation Hub to transform the learning experience for students. Jenny collaborates regularly with other Lakota Innovation Specialists and with curriculum and technology departments to impact the K-12 learning experience for students.
 
Outside of school, Jenny enjoys spending time with her family, Broadway shows, traveling, and crafting with her Cricut.
 

Jason Kennison

Jason Kennison

Guidance

Jason has been the counselor at Cherokee since 2018 and has ONLY ever been a school counselor for Cherokee! Mr. Kennison is your go-to for any and all help, suggestions, or resources related to your child’s social or emotional needs. Jason is kid focused and has a favorite question that he asks all new students and staff…”What is your favorite food?” Building relationships are key for him.

Outside of school, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 year old daughter, Naomi. He is a huge sports fan and loves playing video games too!
 

Stephanie Patterson

Stephanie Patterson

Office Secretary

Stephanie has been the Cherokee Secretary since 2018. The Office Secretary is also the Secretary to the Assistant Principal. Various duties include attendance, enrollment/withdrawals, transportation, student records/report cards, OneLogin/HAC, welcoming guests and assisting parents in the front office.

Stephanie is also a parent in Lakota and is an avid volunteer at Cherokee, earning her the Barb Bossu Volunteer Award twice in 2016-2017 and 2019-2020.

Carl Sigmon

Carl Sigmon

SRO

Lieutenant Carl Sigmon retired from the Hamilton County Police Department after serving for 30 years. Lt. Sigmon was also active in the Army for 3 years and was in the Reserves for 3 years. He was assigned as the School Resource Officer at Cherokee in 2019. During the summer, he enjoys car shows, spending time at the lake, and cruising in his prized Corvette.
 
Student safety is the main focus of his job, but he also enjoys relationship building with students, being a positive influence for them, and helping them understand that police officers aren’t just there for the “bad things". He wants students to feel comfortable talking to officers in uniform. He can sometimes be seen shooting basketballs or having lunch with students.
 

Eric Wurzbacher

SST