Pictured are Cheri Sleighter and her family. Photo Provided.
Pictured are Cheri Sleighter and her family. Photo Provided.
Warsaw Community Schools has selected Cheri Sleighter as the principal of Washington STEM Academy, pending school board approval in April.

Sleighter said, “I feel blessed to continue to serve with the teachers and staff at Washington to make a difference in the lives of our Hornets. I look forward to connecting with the community and parents throughout the years as we continue to learn and grow together.”  

Sleighter and her husband, Cory, have a son that is a junior at Warsaw Community High School as well as a fourth-grade daughter that attends Washington STEM Academy.

Sleighter graduated from Whitko High School and went on to earn her undergraduate degree from Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne and her master’s in educational leadership and supervision from Indiana State University.   

Serving at WCS since 2006, Sleighter began her teaching career at Leesburg Elementary School. During her time teaching, she has taught all elementary grade levels in some capacity. From there, Cheri traveled to China to teach STEM education during summer 2018. Upon returning, she became Warsaw’s district math coach for all elementary buildings, along with teaching STEM on the Warsaw Inquiry Learning Lab (WILL) bus that traveled to all Warsaw elementary buildings. During the 2020-21 school year, all WCS coaches began a building-based model; during this time, Cheri transitioned to Lincoln Elementary’s instructional coach.  

Sleighter has served as the interim principal at Washington STEM Academy since October 2023. During that time, she has completed the coursework for her master’s degree as well as certification for school safety specialist.

WCS board member and Washington parent Tom Westerhof said, "I have had the privilege of getting to know Cheri well over the last half year and watched as she excelled in the interim principal role at Washington STEM Academy. After many conversations with staff, students and families of Washington, it is obvious that they are as impressed as I am. Cheri is an asset to Warsaw Community Schools and I am thrilled that she will continue leading that building and molding students in the ‘Washington Way.’”

The faculty and staff at Washington, along with a focus group of parents, gave feedback to the selection committee prior to the search process. Cheri was chosen from a group of highly qualified applicants. Dani Barkey, deputy superintendent, shared, “Cheri, took part in the Warsaw Experience Indiana State University cohort for her master’s degree in administration. This innovative partnership has allowed us to build capacity in our teacher leaders and has directly served as a pipeline to fill critical leadership roles.”

Dr. David Hoffert, WCS superintendent, said, “We are excited to officially announce Mrs. Sleighter as the principal of Washington STEM Academy.  The interview committee, consisting of parents, teacher and administration, was highly impressed by her interim work over the 2022-23 school year. Her background knowledge as a parent, teacher, instructional coach and a member of the WCS master’s cohort provided a wealth of experiences leading into this leadership role. It is easy to see and hear her commitment to students, parents and staff. WCS thanks all involved in the selection and interview process and welcomes Cheri Sleighter as the new principal of Washington STEM Academy.”