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Our Team

John Mattingly

John Mattingly

Principal

Mr. John Mattingly (john.mattingly@lakotaonline.com) is extremely proud to (re)join Independence Elementary and serve the Indy community as principal in 2022-23, after being Adena’s principal since the 2017-18 school year. He enjoys leading and supporting his students, staff, and families.

Mr. Mattingly is a proud Hoosier and Bearcat, graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (2003) and the University of Cincinnati with a Master’s in Educational Leadership (2010). 

His focus is on being the instructional leader of Indy and implementing a passionate, positive school culture where all stakeholders share a mission and a vision for our students and our school community. 
Mr. Mattingly has had experiences as an educator in Lebanon City Schools, Finneytown Local Schools, and in Lakota Local Schools. Before being appointed to his leadership role at Indy, he served as Principal of Adena, Assistant Principal at Woodland and Independence Elementary Schools, and Wyandot Early Childhood Schools in Lakota, and as the Principal of Brent Elementary in Finneytown Local Schools. He also taught 3rd and 1st grades, and coached football, basketball, and baseball at the junior high and high school levels in Lebanon and Lakota (Ridge Junior). He has had a great amount of success working with students and adults as a teacher, coach, leader, and mentor.

Julie Nichols

Julie Nichols

Assistant Principal

Mrs. Julie Nichols has been the Assistant Principal at Independence since 2014 (with a one-year hiatus at West Clermont Middle School). Julie is in charge of all things related to 3rd and 5th grade, including the buses. Julie and her husband PJ have two daughters, Jansen and Josie, in the Loveland School system. Julie loves to spend her time watching her daughters cheer, play volleyball, and perform in the show choir. She also enjoys watching her alma mater sports teams, the Southern Illinois University Salukis, and is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan.. The Nichols family moved to Ohio from Illinois in 2014. You can reach Julie at julie.nichols@lakotaonline.com or by phone at (513) 755-8300 ext. 18004. 

Tara Eddy

Office Manager

Tara Eddy has been the Office Manager since 2017. She has worked in Lakota since 2005. She handles the building budget, staff needs and helping with front desk duties. Tara and her husband, Jason, have four children, Nicholas, Tessa, Emma, and Bailee. They have a mini goldendoodle named Blitzen. Tara absolutely loves Christmas and winter and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She spends her free time baking cookies and reading. 

If you have any questions or concerns she can be reached by email at tara.eddy@lakotaonline.com or by phone at (513) 755-8300, ext. 18002.

Sara Hayes

Counselor - Building Sub

Sara Hayes has been the School Counselor at Indy since August 2020. Her role is to support students socially, emotionally, and academically. While she loves to help students grow, she also loves collaborating with the community, families, and the staff by being a resourceful and positive support system. She is the mom of a pitbull labrador mix named Luka. She loves spending her Saturdays hiking through the woods and visiting dog parks. Her hobbies are anything outdoors where she can be active and in nature. She also loves taking pictures, baking, and crafting. 

You can reach her at sara.hayes@lakotaonline.com or by phone at (513) 755-8300, ext. 18003.

Stacey Hodgeman

Registered Nurse

Stacey Hodgeman has been the School Nurse since 2020. Before becoming the school nurse, she volunteered for several years at Independence while her daughters attended there.  She has worked in the Lakota district since the fall of 2019. Stacey and her husband, Bob have four children, Jake, Sam, Maggie and Sadie.  Two of her children have graduated from LEHS and the other two children currently attend Lakota schools. Stacey enjoys having summers off with her family, watching Ohio State football in the fall and caring for your children during the school year.

You can reach her at stacey.hodgeman@lakotaonline.com or by phone at (513) 755-8300; press option 2 for the clinic.

Kristina Linberg

Innovation Specialist

Kristina Linberg has been an Innovation Specialist for Lakota since 2014 and prior to that she enjoyed 12 years in the classroom as a math teacher at Independence Elementary and Liberty Junior School. She provides teachers with professional development and coaching related to Lakota’s initiatives on innovation and personalized learning. Kim 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. 
 
Kristina collaborates regularly with other Lakota Innovation Specialists and with curriculum and technology departments to impact the K-12 learning experience for students.

Kristina and her husband have 3 sons, Nolan, Keegan, and Landen, and a Golden-Newfoundland-Lab, Vera. When she isn’t cheering on her sons in their various activities, Kristina loves spending time with family and friends on beach vacations! She can be reached at kristina.linberg@lakotaonline.com.

Denise Shaw

Office Secretary

Denise Shaw has been the Office Secretary since July 2017. She has been with Lakota School District working as a sub secretary since 2002. She loves working at Independence with the students and their families. She works at the front desk in the office with parents, staff and students. She handles attendance, facility usage, schedules and new students. Denise and her husband, Doug, have three children, Tyler, Paige, and Brady. She enjoys watching her son Brady play hockey, camping and boating at Lake Cumberland and spending time with her family.  

You can reach her at Denise.Shaw@lakotaonline.com if you have any questions, or concerns about attendance or facility usage.

Jodie Souhrada

SRO

Deputy Jodie Souhrada started working at Indy August of 2018. She is responsible for the safety of the children and staff. She and her husband have 5 adult daughters. She is also the mom of a German Shepherd and Golden Doodle. She loves the families and children of Indy. Her hobbies are cooking and fishing.