MACKINAW — Michele Jacobs is the new superintendent of Deer Creek-Mackinaw Community Unit School District 701.

Jacobs, the first female superintendent of the district in its 69-year history, replaces Scott Dearman, the new superintendent of the Dunlap School District. She was the principal of Dee-Mack Primary and Junior High School for the past nine years. The board approved her appointment at its June 19 meeting and she started her new position on July 1.

"This is not a job; it's a career and a way of life," Jacobs said in prepared remarks. "I could not be prouder to serve the hardworking, dedicated and caring staff and community members here in Deer Creek-Mackinaw."

Born and raised in McLean County and a former student at Olympia High School, Jacobs has 28 years of experience in education. She obtained her first master's degree from the University of Illinois in curriculum, technology and education reform, one of the first 26 students in the state to earn that degree.

She started work in the Dee-Mack district in 2004 as the Title I reading instructor in the junior high, and she obtained her master's degree in school administration from Governor's University in 2008. She completed her education specialist degree in educational leadership at Western Illinois University in 2018 and obtained her superintendent's license.

While Jacobs is Dee-Mack's first female superintendent, she is the second Jacobs to lead the district. She is the daughter-in-law of Virgil Jacobs, who served the district as superintendent from 1962 to 1990.

"For me it is an honor to  and privilege to serve as the next superintendent for this wonderful community," Jacobs said. "This has been my home for the last 14 years and I have gotten to know and care greatly for the students and families living here."

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at shilyard@pjstar.com. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.