ROE Superintendents

Roycealee J. Wood

Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools


Roycealee J. Wood is the Lake County, Illinois Regional Superintendent of Schools with interaction with and responsibility for the 45 Lake County School Districts.

She is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Waukegan, the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff League of Women Voters, Waukegan A.A.U.W.-American Association of University Women, IASA-Illinois Association of School Administrators, IARSS-Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents, Beta Upsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Education Sorority, Chicago North Shore Chapter of Zeta Phi Eta Communications Sorority and Phi Delta Kappa Lake-Kenosha-Racine County Chapter. Mrs. Wood also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society-Lake County Regional Unit, Allendale Association, Inc., Friends of the Lake County Museum, A Safe Place (Advisory Board), Central Baptist Youth Services, the N.E. Illinois Council-BSA, NICASA and the Great Lakes Naval Museum Association, Inc. She served for three years as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Crossroads Council of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. with responsibility for 24,000 girls and 8,000 volunteers.

She is a Past President of the Great Lakes Region of the Navy League of the U.S., and has been a member of the Navy League of the U.S. for 40 years. In addition to the Great Lakes Presidency, Mrs. Wood has also served as president of the Lake County Council of the NLUS, Illinois State President of the NLUS, and as a National Director of the NLUS for 28 years.

Mrs. Wood, a native of Rockford, Illinois, is a graduate of Rockford East High School and holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston. She has also done doctoral graduate Administrative study at and received the superintendent endorsement certificate from National Louis University in Wheeling, Illinois.

Mrs. Wood served the North Chicago, Illinois Public Schools at all levels. She worked in the role of teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, guidance director and as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. On November 5, 2002, she was elected as Regional Superintendent of Schools for Lake County, Illinois and assumed that position on July 1, 2003. Mrs. Wood was re-elected for a second term in 2006, a third term in 2010 and a fourth term in November of 2014.

Mrs. Wood resides in Lake Bluff, Illinois.


Gary E. Pickens

Lake County Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools


Gary E. Pickens serves as the Lake County Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools and the Director of the Educational Services Division of the Regional Office of Education.   Mr. Pickens supports the Regional Superintendent of School in interaction with and responsibility for the forty-five county school districts.  He also works with a team of professional consultants and support staff to provide staff development, workshops, training, graduate courses, consulting services, facilitation and planning services and technical assistance to schools and other educational agencies.

Mr. Pickens is a member of the Association for School Curriculum Development, the International Society for Technology in Education, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, the Illinois Computer Educators, The National School Reform Faculty, the Association of the United States Army, and the Retired Officers Association. 

Mr. Pickens was born in San Diego, California and grew up traveling the world as part of a military family.  After 18 years of moving with his family, he graduated from Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Idaho where his family had settled.  Following a three-year enlistment in the U.S. Army Field Artillery, Mr. Pickens earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Regular Army Commission at the University of Idaho and subsequently served another eighteen years as an Army officer.  Upon retirement from the Army as a Major, Mr. Pickens obtained a Masters Degree in Education along with high school teaching and administrative certifications from Loyola University of Chicago.

Before assuming his present role in the Lake County Regional Office of Education on July 1, 2007, Mr. Pickens’ history included:  four years experience as Technology Director at Lake Forest High School District 115, six years of experience as Technology Coordinator for the Lake County Regional Office of Education’s Educational Services Division and Director of Learning Technology Center One-North, three years of practical teaching experience and operational leadership in a Chicago Public High School, over 20 years of military and 15 years of specialized experience in the areas of operations research, systems analysis, and quality management techniques.  Mr. Pickens has been a designated trainer and facilitator for the Illinois Standards Aligned Classroom Program, quality management principles/techniques, school improvement/reform programs, and technology/strategic planning techniques. 

Mr. Pickens lives in Grayslake, Illinois, with his wife, Leigh Ann Pickens (a School Librarian and Information Specialist at Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46), and his daughters, Caitlyn and Lillian who are graduates of Grayslake Schools and currently attending college.