About Illinois School

  • Dr. Mays

    Greetings Illinois Family,

    I am both honored and excited to serve as Principal of Illinois School. I come to you as an experienced administrator, many of which started here in Matteson School District 162 and more importantly Illinois School. Illinois School is a Kindergarten through eighth grade elementary school that strives to involve family, community and school personnel in a team effort.  I can assure you that I genuinely share in the community's commitment to caring for our children each and every day while ensuring them a global learning environment.                                                         

    I have been a district principal in Hoover Schrum for 10 years. I am the wife of Dr. Brian Mays. We are the proud parents of two adult children, Brianna and Brian Jr. Illinois School is proud of our continuing academic progress.  We have an excellent faculty providing our children with an educational experience that leads all other schools.  As a family, we are committed to preparing our children for the fast-paced world they will face in the future.  

    In closing, please note that even though I cannot greet you face to face, I am only a phone call away. I look forward to seeing you in the near future!


    Dr. Shernita Mays

    Dr. Shernita Mays, Principal



    Assistant Principal Brian Blackburn

    Welcome Illinois School Family to the 2023-2024 school year!

    It is an honor for me to serve you this school year as the Assistant Principal at Illinois School. This school year is going to be an awesome year of learning!

    I am originally from Chicago, Illinois and have worked in education as a certified teacher since 2005. I am a graduate of Morehouse College, where I earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1999 and at Northwestern University I received graduate level training in education. I was awarded a master's degree in School Leadership from Concordia University in 2009.  I have worked as a PBIS Coordinator and most recently became a certified Crisis Prevention & Intervention Trainer.               

    In my spare time I enjoy traveling, reading, exploring new restaurants and spending time with my wife, Tracee Blackburn and two kids, Brynn and Bakari. It is my goal to work in collaboration with teachers, students, parents and the community to make sure that the legacy of Illinois School continues to foster the entire student and develops knowledgeable, caring students and teachers whose love of learning continues over time.

    “Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead and no man yet to be born could do it any better.” By Benjamin Elijah Mays



    Bryan Blackburn

    Bryan Blackburn, Assistant Principal



    With great excitement I introduce myself to you as the Assistant Principal of Illinois School. I feel fortunate to be a part of this school, and to support the students, families and community. I come from a family of educators. I have experience in the field of education throughout the city of Chicago and at Southland College Prep. Prior to joining Illinois School I have served as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) committees, and various mentorship programs. My goal is to continue to provide a supportive climate and culture at Illinois School that is conducive to teaching and learning. I look forward to bringing my experience to Illinois School. I am thrilled to work with the students, staff, and community who make Illinois School a great school.

     Thank You,

    Nicholas Holmes

    Nicholas Holmes, Assistant Principal