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* Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) special program
** Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) & Gifted Academy special programs
*** Offers Adult Education program

Meet the Principal

Headshot of Riverdahl Principal Tony Gibbons

Welcome, Riverdahl Families!

Riverdahl Elementary School has a mission where we all believe “All Belong, All Learn, All Lead.” We achieve this through the implementation of restorative practices. We start our day with a social-emotional learning lesson with the purpose of giving our students the tools needed to be successful. We build strong relationships with students and the community, which allows us to create an engaging environment with rigorous academics. You will not find a more dedicated staff to lift students to their full potential.

It was my privilege to join the Riverdahl Elementary School staff in 2017. I started my educational career in 1999, where I was a 6th grade math teacher at RESA Middle School. In 2006, I left the classroom to be a math coach at Kennedy Middle School. After one year, I returned to the classroom continuing to teach 6th/8th grade math at RESA. In 2010, I took on the role of an assistant principal at RESA.

I grew up 2 ½ hours south of Rockford in the small town of Abingdon, Illinois. After graduating from Abingdon High School in 1994, I started my college career with the idea of being a doctor. I found my passion for teaching when I started tutoring peers in college. I received my bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Western Illinois University. This endorsed my love for working with children. After teaching for six years, I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a master's degree in Instruction and Curriculum. During this time, I had an opportunity to work with district leadership, where I found my passion for leading other educators. In 2010, I graduated from National Louis University with Educational Leadership.

I am fortunate to have worked at RESA for 18 years, which has prepared me to support our Riverdahl students and staff. I understand what our students need to be successful in our middle schools. I have been trained in both restorative practices and Love & Logic, which allows me to hold our students accountable with love and compassion. I love what I do and can’t believe how lucky I am to work with our students. My goal is to provide our students with the opportunity to achieve their best self.

I have two children, Maddy and Blaine. Maddy is currently a senior at ISU studying Speech Pathology. Blaine is a senior at Winnebago High School and plans to attend RVC in the fall. My wife is a fellow educator at Summerdale Early Childhood Center. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family. If I am not with my family, you may find me on the golf course or the local fishing hole. I was lucky enough to coach both of my children in soccer, baseball and basketball. Although that part of my life is over, I still enjoy coaching from the sidelines as I cheer on my favorite teams.

Tommy Gibbons |