Mayor Emanuel and CPS Invest in Principals by Expanding Principal Leadership Programs 

ISP Program Doubled by Adding 27 Principals; Chicago Principal Fellows Expands by One-Fourth by Adding 25 Principals

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CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620   

CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson today announced an expansion of principal leadership programs to empower leading school leaders to innovate and drive student achievement.

To empower top principals, CPS is doubling the size of the District’s Independent Schools Principal (ISP) Program – which provides high-performing principals with the autonomy to operate their schools with reduced oversight from Central Office and the flexibility to innovate in their schools – by adding 27 experienced, successful principals. The District is also implementing new reforms to the ISP Program to ensure principals are able to most effectively manage their schools and support the larger CPS community.

“The strength of our schools is a direct reflection of the strong leadership that guides them—and I want to congratulate each and every one of our principals today for the tremendous growth that our students and schools have made today,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Our principals remain essential partners in helping our students make unprecedented academic gains, with record-high test scores and graduation rates. By empowering our school communities to lead with greater flexibility, we can ensure that our students will receive a high-quality education tailored to meet their needs, while putting them on a path to a brighter future.”

“A great principal exists behind every great school, and as a District we must do everything in our power to cultivate transformative leaders that will drive student achievement,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Programs like ISP and the Chicago Principal Fellowship have allowed our best leaders to take on greater leadership roles, expand their professional capacity, and educate their peers to improve capacity throughout the District, and we will continue to seek out innovative tools to develop and retain the school leaders who will help build a better future for our students.”

CPS and The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) today also announced the new 25-member class of Chicago Principal Fellows, a 25 percent expansion in the size of the program. Through the Chicago Principals Fellowship, school leaders are provided with 12-months of executive leadership development through a partnership with Northwestern University. For the first time, the annual cohort of Principal Fellows will include 25 principals instead of the 20 member classes in previous years.

“Principals are a key driver of student and school success, which is why The Fund is committed to increasing the number of top-performing principals in Chicago,” said Heather Y. Anichini, president and CEO of The Fund. “On our 2015 Principal Engagement Survey, principals ranked increasing differentiated professional development opportunities among the top three ways to improve their job satisfaction. We want to support and retain Chicago’s best public school principals by expanding and investing in top-quality leadership development programs like the Chicago Principals Fellowship.”

ISP Expansion
Mayor Emanuel and CPS announced the first cohort of ISPs prior to the beginning of this school year to provide some of the District’s best school leaders with additional autonomy to manage their schools. ISPs are exempt from network oversight and evaluation by Network Chiefs, and they are provided with greater autonomy in regard to professional learning, budgeting and purchasing. ISPs also have the opportunity to engage in a unique, peer-to-peer professional learning community to discuss and share effective practices among their peers.                                                                          

To expand on the success of the program’s first year and provide a greater number of effective principals with flexibility to innovate, CPS invited qualified principals to apply for the ISP Program this spring and will be adding 27 additional principals to the program, bringing the total of ISPs to 54.

To improve the effectiveness of the ISP program, CPS is making the following updates to the program that will increase principal autonomy and responsibility:

1.      Modified Principal Evaluation: CPS is committed to streamlining the principal evaluation process for ISPs to ensure they are able to maximize the time and energy they are able to direct to school operations. The state of Illinois requires that principal supervisors conduct two formal observations and issue each leader’s final principal rating, and CPS is exploring possible modifications to this process while still meeting state requirements.

2.      Self-Directed Management of District Priorities: Recognizing that ISPs represent a diverse cohort of stellar principals, the District is committed to providing ISPs more time to innovate in their schools by reducing reporting requirements. Next year, all CPS principals will be provided with more robust information on their schools through the District’s management Dashboard. As a result of this increase in available information, ISPs will have reduced reporting requirements in exchange for self-monitoring through Dashboard.

3.      Opportunities to Expand Impact: As some of the district’s top principals, ISPs have demonstrated an eagerness to share their expertise and successes with their colleagues. This year, CPS will grant ISPs greater choice around opportunities to expand their impact within the District. Beginning this year, ISPs will have the opportunity to serve as demonstration schools, principal mentors, or serve as advisors to CPS Central Office departments. ISPs will serve in one or more of these capacities to share their learnings and help build capacity throughout the District. 

The following principals will join the ISP Program:

  • Manuel Adrianzen – Alfred Nobel Elementary School
  • Lauren A. Albani – LaSalle II Magnet Elementary School
  • Gerardo Arriaga – Enrico Tonti Elementary School
  • Olimpia Bahena – Mancel Talcott Elementary School
  • Eduardo Cesario – DeWitt Clinton Elementary School
  • Jo Easterling-Hood – Mary E. McDowell Elementary School
  • Lisa Ann Epstein – Richard Henry Lee Elementary School
  • James Gray – Alexander Hamilton Elementary School
  • William Edwin Hook – Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
  • Kiltae Fernando Kim – Frank W. Gunsaulus Elementary Scholastic Academy
  • Margaret Kouretsos – Florence Nightingale Elementary School
  • Ruth Martini-Walsh – Jane Addams Elementary School
  • Jacqueline Medina – Talman Elementary School
  • Nicole Milberg – Ellen Mitchell Elementary School
  • Ethan Netterstrom – Skinner North
  • Serena Peterson-Klosa – Christian Ebinger Elementary School
  • Nathan Pietrini – Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy
  • Catherine Plocher – Augustus H. Burley Elementary School
  • Docilla Pollard – Andrew Carnegie Elementary School
  • Rituparna Raichoudhuri – Wells Community Academy High School
  • Catherine Reidy – Mount Greenwood Elementary School
  • Judith Marie Sauri – Richard Edwards Elementary School
  • Marcey Sorensen – Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School
  • Dennis Sweeney – Virgil Grissom Elementary School
  • Brigitte Swenson – Peace & Education Coalition High School
  • Jerry Travlos – Washington D. Smyser Elementary School
  • Mira Weber – Louis A. Agassiz Elementary School

Chicago Principals Fellowship
CPS and its partners at The Fund today also announced 25 principals who will participate in the Chicago Principals Fellowship. After two successful years, CPS is expanding the Fellows cohort size from 20 to 25 principals, including five fellowship spots reserved for charter school principals in Chicago.

Fellows participate in a rigorous program provided by Northwestern’s Center for Nonprofit Management at Kellogg and its School for Education and Social Policy. Principal Fellows receive a leadership assessment and executive coaching through the program, and they meet monthly with Chief Education Officer Jackson to discuss key District topics and make policy recommendations. 

As part of the fellowship program, Principals Fellows commit to continuing to lead in CPS for at least three years.

The following principals will participate in the new cohort of Principal Fellows:

  • Elizabeth Alvarez – John C. Dore Elementary School
  • Peter Auffant – James Shields Middle School
  • Michael Biela – Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy High School
  • Karen Boran – John Hancock College Preparatory High School
  • Christopher Brake – Norman A. Bridge Elementary School
  • Carol Devens-Falk – Daniel J. Corkery Elementary School
  • Otis Dunson – George Armstrong International Studies Elementary School
  • Carolyn Eggert – DeVry University Advantage Academy High School
  • Joshua Emmett – CICS Northtown High School
  • Clifford Gabor – Mary Lyon Elementary School
  • Lindsey Girard – CICS Loomis Primary
  • Shontae Higginbottom – Edward A. Bouchet Math & Science Academy Elementary School
  • William Klee – Jonathan Burr Elementary School
  • Julie McGlade – John W. Garvy Elementary School
  • Wendy Oleksy – Christopher Columbus Elementary School
  • Ekaterini Panagakis – Charles H. Wacker Elementary School
  • Anna Pavichevich – Roald Amundsen High School
  • Daniel Perry – James E. McDade Elementary Classical School
  • Jennifer Reid – Noble Street Charter School – Rauner College Prep
  • Erin Roche – William H. Prescott Elementary School
  • Fareeda Shabazz – Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School
  • Angela Sims – Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center
  • Melissa Sweazy – UCSN Esmeralda Santiago
  • Joanne Tanner – UCSN Carlos Fuentes
  • Ricardo Trujillo – James Monroe Elementary School

Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 664 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

Page Last Modified on Monday, June 06, 2016