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Welcome to the newsletter of the UIC EdD program in Urban Education Leadership. If you have items to be considered for submission, please forward them to

In this issue...

In this issue you will read about a range of news, including:

  • Current student and alumni appointments
  • Current student and alumni awards
  • Program announcements
  • EdD Information Session dates for 2020-2021
  • Superintendent Endorsement Information
Leadership is Essential

Our academic faculty and leadership coaches elaborate on various models of school leadership throughout our principal preparation program, such as instructional leadership, transformational leadership, and culturally responsive school leadership. In these conversations, our team clarifies that no one school leadership model is perfect; each school leader ought to become the kind of leader their particular school needs to solve progressively difficult problems.
As more evidence in the field accumulates, it is becoming increasingly clear that a blend of "layered" approaches from each of the common forms of leadership is necessary to build and sustain school change. In other words, leading solely as an instructional leader, or solely leveraging the distribution of leadership, or solely becoming a transformational leader - will not create the conditions for the kind of schools that we want for our students.  
While this claim has been a hunch in the field for decades, Day, Gu, and Sammons (2016) took a mixed-methods approach to demonstrate the power of moving away from school leadership's often dichotomous framing. At the bottom of this newsletter is a link that will provide access to this paper. The findings section articulates the intersections of these frameworks and how it advances student achievement. 
Our program respects this work and believes it stretches the field to better understand how to improve and sustain school growth. Our team also wonders how the findings of this work need to be adapted to serve the most under-resourced schools in an urban context. Furthermore, we wonder about naming and implementing a more race-conscious approach to schools that have been divested of resources for generations. We feel this is one of the next edges of exploration, a model that melds more traditional leadership forms with more culturally responsive and community-based forms of leadership. 

Welcome, Cohort 19 !
Congratulations to our newest members of the Urban Education Leadership Program - Cohort 19. The UIC family formally welcomed the new cohort during at an orientation on December 2nd.  At twenty-one members, Cohort 19 is one of the largest cohorts UIC has admitted in years. 
  • Alexis Covarrubias; Case Manager, Senn High School
  • Charlie DeLeonardis; Assistant Principal, Havlicek Elementary School (Berwyn)
  • Verneisha Gair; Science Teacher Leader, Thornton Fractional High School 
  • Sarah Garr; Case Manager/SPED Lead, Piccolo School of Excellence
  • Ryan Glowacz; Assistant Principal, Taft High School
  • Gayle Harris-Neely; Principal, Ray Elementary School 
  • Rebecca Kijek; Science Teacher Leader, Kennedy High School
  • Jessica Lopez; Assistant Principal, Prairie Oak (Berwyn)
  • Funmilola MaCaulay; Assistant Principal, Horizon Science Academy
  • LaToya McBride; Science Teacher Leader, Daniel Hale Williams High School
  • Sean McGuire; Science Teacher Leader, Lincoln Park High School
  • Quiana McNeal; Assistant Principal, Chicago Collegiate Charter
  • John Murphy; AP Lit and Dual Credit History Teacher Leader - Perspectives Charter School
  • Jimini Ofori-Amoah; AP/Honors History Teacher Leader, Walter Payton High School
  • Melisa Rutkelis; CPS Department of Arts Education
  • Coryn Schmit; Math and Science Instructional Coach, Chicago Tech
  • Jason Stanford; AVID Coordinator/AVID Elective Teacher Leader, Niles West High School
  • Adam Stucky; Assistant Principal, Lincoln Park High School
  • Brigitte Swenson; Principal, Peace and Education High School
  • Gary Tesinsky; Assistant Principal, Schurz High School
  • Elizabeth Walker; Resident Principal, Ogden International

Minerva Garcia-Sanchez named Superintendent of
Dekalb School District 428

 On January 5th, the DeKalb School District 428 board voted unanimously to confirm Minerva Garcia-Sanchez (Cohort 4) as the next superintendent of schools. Garcia-Sanchez is one of the most veteran UIC UELP students.  For the past 15 years, Garcia-Sanchez has held school leadership roles.  She has held positions as an assistant principal (Lafayette Elementary School), principal (Hernandez Middle School), deputy chief officer of the office of language and cultural education, deputy network chief, and network chief.  Garcia-Sanchez is on-track to defend her final capstone from UIC in the Spring of 2021. 

Source: Daily Chronicle

Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri
Leading Change in Kalamazoo (MI)

Under Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri's (Cohort 9) leadership, the Kalamazoo Public Schools has been rewarded a $1 million grant for social and emotional learning from the Stryker Johnston Foundation. The district plans to use the funds to establish a Social- Emotional Learning and Professional Development Center at KPS to foster an SEL curriculum to advance a positive school culture and climate. The grant will also go towards ongoing training and coaching in trauma-informed practices, restorative practices, and culturally responsive teaching and education. 


Superintendent Raichoudhuri has announced Kalamazoo schools are looking for applicants for the district's first-ever Equity Task Force and Design Team. Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri announced the team's creation to "eliminate and dismantle racism and other forms of intolerance and discrimination within the district's practices, policies, goals, curriculum, and culture to support positive and meaningful impact in Kalamazoo." The global pandemic threatened access to the internet, technology, food, and mental health resources for many students in the KPS system. With schools closed, Kalamazoo leaders jumped into action to continue feeding students and distributing necessary technology so all students could access virtual learning.


Source: Kalamazoo Public Schools



Joanne Tanner named Deputy Chief
of Education Officer (Acero Schools)

Joanne M. Tanner (Cohort 18 & UIC 2005 Alumni) has been named Deputy Chief Education Officer for Acero Schools. Ms. Tanner’s vast experience in K-12 education and educational leadership was shaped by her six years of teaching in historically underserved, immigrant communities. Ms. Tanner saw firsthand how racist policies and practices, within and outside the school environment, curtail the success of whole communities. These experiences lit a fire that continues to drive her work at Acero as she pursues a greater impact within the organization. As Deputy Chief Education Officer, she will continue to expand the organization's work to ensure equitable experiences and outcomes for all Acero’s 7500 students. In her most recent role, she served the Avondale community as principal of Carlos Fuentes Elementary for nearly a decade and has held other district roles such as Principal of Cruz Elementary and Lead Principal. Ms. Tanner’s commitment to self-growth and the development of others is only matched by her intense drive to improve outcomes for students. 


Barbara San-Roman named to Chicago Leadership Academy

Barbara San-Roman (Cohort 15; CLC 6) has been named one of the University of Chicago Civic Leadership Academy's newest fellows. On January 7th, the Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), based at the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government (CEG) and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, announced its seventh cohort.

This 2021 class cohort is composed of both government and nonprofit leaders. CLA fellows are spearheading reform in Chicago during these critical times on a host of pressing policy challenges, for example, leading the fight against COVID-19 and the economic recession, supporting students and educators through virtual learning, and advancing progress on issues of criminal justice. The fellows will begin a rigorous six-month program that will teach essential leadership skills and provide the time and space to focus on a specific leadership skill that will directly benefit their work. In May, the fellows will travel to Paris for a week-long global practicum. Upon completing the program, they will receive a certificate in civic leadership from the Harris School of Public Policy.

Dr. Chala Holland named High School
Principal of the Year (Lake Region)

The Illinois Principal Association has named Dr. Chala Holland (Cohort 7) as the High School Principal of the Year for the Lake Region. Superintendent Michael Simeck expressed that Dr. Holland is an agent of change, and this award should come as "no surprise" for those who know her. 


"As principal, she prioritizes time each day to spend in and out of our classrooms (even virtually) engaging with students and staff. She has increased student participation in extra-curriculars by encouraging students to identify their interests and seek opportunities to engage that are meaningful to them. Chala meets with students regularly and helps them create pathways to transform their goals and ideas to reality. She has focused on evolving multiple curricular areas and implemented a new schedule that has been beneficial to for students and staff, alike. During her tenure, Chala has realigned administrative positions to ensure that much of this has taken place as she has also navigated uncharted waters of leading our high school during a pandemic!" 

Source: Patch

Dr. Paul Karafiol Renews Contract at Lake View High School

Lake View’s Local School Council (LSC) has unanimously decided to renew Dr. Paul Karafiol's (Cohort 12; CLC 3) contract for four years. Some of his most impactful achievements are listed below.

·       Doubled the number of students passing at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam as well as increased AP enrollment by 40% over three years, with efforts explicitly focused on increasing AP access for Latinx and Black students. As a result, more than half of all LVHS students in the class of 2020 entered college with at least one college credit.

·       Increased college enrollment rate from 65% to 73% over the last three years.

·       Expanded cultural learning and celebrations including all-school Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month.

·       Implemented student voice committees to engage students in climate, culture, curriculum, and instruction.

·       Offered communications in both English and Spanish to increase community engagement.

·       Reduced misconducts by over 70% and reduced suspensions by over 25%.

·       Created multiple staff teams to lead school-wide improvements, identify students in need of support, and lead adult learning around privilege, systemic racism, and implicit bias in order to unify all staff and students.

Dr. Lauren Albani Renews Contract
at LaSalle II Magnet School

Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Albani (Cohort 9) for her contract renewal at Principal at LaSalle II Magnet School renewed. Dr. Albani assumed the principalship at LaSalle II in July of 2013.  Under Dr. Albani's leadership, LaSalle II earned a Level 1+ status in 2015-2016 and has maintained its rating for five consecutive years.  While there are many strengths to LaSalle II, Dr. Albani is pleased with the school climate and community culture that serves as the foundation to enact ambitious instruction for students.  Dr. Albani has been named a Cahn Fellow (2017) and a Stone Early Childhood Fellow (2012-2016).  

 Dr. Janice Jackson Co-Authors Washington Post Article

Superintendents from the nation's three largest school districts, New York (Richard Carranza), Los Angeles (Austin Beutner) and Dr Janice Jackson (Cohort 2)  of the Chicago Public Schools co-authored a piece in the Washington Post, We Need a Marshall Plan for Our Schools. And We Need it Now.

In the article, Dr.Jackson calls for the federal government to address the dire situation facing public schools, adding that the pandemic should be categorized as a "national emergency." She further elaborates on this point, arguing that direct federal support for schools must be specific and targeted so that a federal relief package can cover the basic building blocks of a safe and healthy school environment. Dr.Jackson outlines four essential programs schools need funding for in the article:  "cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and providing protective equipment; school-based coronavirus testing and contact tracing to help reduce the risk for all in the school community; mental health support for students to address the significant trauma they are facing; and funding for in-person instruction next summer."

Source: Washington Post

Announcement to all Administrators!


Educators who hold the Type 75 and the Illinois Principal Endorsement are obligated to meet continuing professional development requirements set forth by ISBE. Educators are required to track these hours in ELIS (visit, then click into the teacher tab to enter your username and password). A tutorial on how to record PDUs in ELIS can be found at

There are two components to this requirement: Administrators Academy (AA) Credits and Professional Development (PD) hours.

Illinois Administrator Academy Credits: You must complete one Administrators Academy (AA) credit per fiscal year that you are employed in a position that requires an administrative endorsement for 50% or more FTE, (between July 1 and June 30 of each fiscal year). If the AA has not been completed by June 30th, an additional AA will be required for that fiscal year. Visit for information on offerings and registration.

Professional Development Hours: You must complete 100 Professional Development hours in a 5-year cycle. If NBCPTC is held, only 60 PD hours are required. Each clock hour of UIC coursework counts as one hour of PD. As of April 1, 2017, educators are permitted to carry over unused professional development hours completed between April 1st and June 30th of the final years of their renewal cycle to the next five-year renewal cycle. Educators should not record unused professional development in ELIS until July 1st of the next renewal cycle.

In addition, in order to be able to continue to evaluate teachers, you need to renew your ISBE teacher evaluation certification. This process is referred to as “retraining” by ISBE and is connected to the renewal cycle of your Professional Educator License (PEL).

Completion of two academies, is required to meet the retraining requirement -- one course addresses Teacher Practice and, the other course addresses Student Growth. These two courses must be completed within the five-year renewal cycle, are counted as part of the 5 required AAs needed for PEL renewal, and need not be completed within the same calendar year. Visit to view upcoming sessions.

To receive credit for principal or teacher evaluator retraining, the retraining must be taken in the next renewal cycle following the initial training. Evaluators who have taken the initial evaluator training (Growth Through Learning Modules or developed by the district) must complete retraining “once within the next renewal cycle” (105 ILCS 5/24A-3). For example: An educator’s renewal cycle is 7/1/2015 – 6/30/2020. He took the initial training in 2016 (FY 2017). This educator’s retraining must be completed between 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2022 (during his next license cycle.)





Leadership Resources

Below is an abstract from the paper written by Christopher Day, Qing Gu, and Pam Sammons, titled "The Impact of Leadership on Student Outcomes: How Successful School Leaders Use Transformational and Instructional Strategies to Make a Difference".  Here is the LINK to the paper. 

Purpose: This article illustrates how successful leaders combine the too often dichotomized practices of transformational and instructional leadership in different ways across different phases of their schools’ development in order to progressively shape and “layer” the improvement culture in improving students’ outcomes.

Research Methods: Empirical data were drawn from a 3-year mixed-methods national study (“Impact Study”) that investigated associations between the work of principals in effective and improving primary and secondary schools in England and student outcomes as defined (but not confined) by their national examination and assessment results over 3 years. The research began with a critical survey of the extant literature, followed by a national survey that explored principals’ and key staff’s perceptions of school improvement strategies and actions that they believed had helped foster better student attainment. This was complemented by multiperspective in-depth case studies of a subsample of 20 schools.

Findings: The research provides new empirical evidence of how successful principals directly and indirectly achieve and sustain improvement over time through combining both transformational and instructional leadership strategies. The findings show that schools’ abilities to improve and sustain effectiveness over the long term are not primarily the result of the principals’ leadership style but of their understanding and diagnosis of the school’s needs and their application of clearly articulated, organizationally shared educational values through multiple combinations and accumulations of time and context-sensitive strategies that are “layered” and progressively embedded in the school’s work, culture, and achievements.

Implications: Mixed-methods research designs are likely to provide finer grained, more nuanced evidence-based understandings of the leadership roles and behaviors of principals who achieve and sustain educational outcomes in schools than single lens quantitative analyses, meta-analyses, or purely qualitative approaches. The findings themselves provide support for more differentiated, context sensitive training and development for aspiring and serving principals.

In 2016, this paper won the Davis award for the top paper published in Education Administration Quarterly. 




Upcoming EdD Information Sessions
We have dates for the 2021 Information Sessions. 
If you'd like to register, click this link HERE.

2/11/2021, 3:30 – 4:30
3/6/2021, 9:00 – 10:30
3/25/2021, 3:30 – 4:30
  4/24/2021, 9:00 – 10:30
5/4/2021, 3:30 – 4:30
  5/22/2021, 9:00 – 10:30
  6/26/2021, 9:00 – 10:30

All sessions will be held via Zoom


For general program inquiries you may contact Dr. Cynthia Barron ( If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Elise Wilson (
Superintendent Program
We are now accepting applications for the newly revamped superintendent program. If you are interested in learning whether the new UIC Superintendent program is the right match for you, we encourage you to fill out an interest form. At the end of the interest form, you will see a prompt to submit your resume to Superintendent Program Coordinator, Dr. Cynthia Barron ( Shortly after your submission, she will contact you to set up a phone call to learn more about your background. For any questions about the program, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Barron.  
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EdD Program in Urban Education Leadership · 1040 W Harrison St · Mc 147 · Chicago, IL 60607-7129 · USA

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