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Chicago Public Schools
|City and State||
I started my teaching career at an alternative school for teens in the juvenile system in Indiana and was awarded the Wal-Mart teacher of the year in 2001. After moving to Chicago, I became a Nationally Board Certified English and Reading teacher at Farragut High School. In 2009, one of the founding teachers at Talent Development Charter High School in the West Garfield neighborhood – and in 2010 made his transition to leadership serving as assistant principal of Harper High School where he became a nationally certified “New Leader,” a national leadership training program for principals. I was featured in NPR’s podcast “This American Life: Harper High School”.
I took over as principal at Sullivan High School in Rogers Park in July 2013 – at a time when Sullivan had been on academic probation for 13 straight years. We dramatically transformed the lowest-performing high school on the north side of Chicago into a flourishing neighborhood high school. Through our leadership, the school has freshmen on track to graduation increase from 65 percent to over 97 percent, and the college enrollment increase over 20 percent. Academically, the 9th-grade cohort student growth performance is in the 95 percentile on PSAT assessments. Sullivan serves as one of the most diverse schools in the country with over 30% special education and 65% bilingual students, and over 40 languages spoken in the school. Recently, the book “Refugee High” was released, the book documents a year in the life at Sullivan capturing our story of serving the community, and the journeys of students and their families from refugee camps to Sullivan. The book has received national reviews from the Washington Post and various media outlets.
I’ve also been a professor at Loyola University and a former principal fellow for the CEO office of Chicago Public Schools. I was also the first principal to serve as a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs “Emerging Leaders” cohort. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Quincy University and a Master of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University.
|Locations of Experience||
Indiana and Illinois. Middle and High School level, Charter, and Alternative as well.
|My hope for this community||
My hope is for our community to serve as a safe and brave space for school leaders to explore their ideas and identity in order to bring the best version of themselves to their school communities. We will lean on each other to explore ideas and strategies that we can leverage to ensure our schools meet their highest potential and meet the needs of ALL students.