I am very excited to be joining this community as the new Interim Principal. By way of introduction, I am a product of Chicago Public Schools who grew up just five minutes from here in the Chatham/Avalon Park neighborhood. After earning my B.S. in Mathematics (minor in Secondary Education) from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, I returned to CPS as a math teacher. I taught for seven years, serving as a Department Chair and leading various school improvement initiatives, before being promoted to Assistant Principal. In 2013, I was selected as Interim Principal at King College Prep, eventually earning a contract there and raising the school’s performance to Level 1+. I have learned a lot over the years, and am very excited to bring my experience and knowledge about school improvement to the Hirsch Community.
As I transition into this building, my first steps will be to learn the systems and structures that are already in place. After assessing the building for best practices, changes will only be made “if necessary”, in order to ensure compliance with CPS policy and to maximize the safety, performance and experiences of our student body. I aim to be collaborative; all decisions will be made in consultation with the personnel involved. My only requirement is that we always prioritize what is in the best interest of students.
While sound systems and structures are the basic requirements for students and staff to feel safe and effective at school, true school improvement will only come with the implementation of best practices in the classroom. Teachers are the foundation of any effective school initiative. I am excited to learn from the current faculty, and to form a partnership where teachers feel supported in trying new strategies and doing whatever is necessary to create the optimal learning environment. I will be the first to say that I do not have all the answers; my experience and knowledge of instructional best practice will hopefully be a resource that can be combined with the current staff’s knowledge of the student body.Please support our efforts in working with your child by ensuring that your child is in school every day, on time. They should be ready and willing to learn from the teachers, and this message should be reinforced at home. Talking with your child each day about how their day went is an excellent strategy. In addition, please make sure that we have the most up to date contact information in our system, and that you respond to efforts from our staff to reach out to you. Please know that I have an open door policy; if you need to see me please do not hesitate to stop by my office during your free period. I look forward to working with all of you.