Department of Principal Quality

Mission: Identify, develop, support, and retain strong principal leaders who are dedicated to student success in CPS.

Vision: Every Chicago Public School has a strong leader providing opportunities for all students to achieve their fullest potential.

Independent School Principals (ISP)

The ISP program is designed for high-performing principals who can ensure continued strong performance with minimal oversight from the district, and who would benefit from additional independence to lead their schools. The objectives of the program are to:

  • Reward high-performing principals with increased autonomy.
  • Expand ISP leadership impact through meaningful leadership capacities and innovative collaboration.
  • Build streamlined systems and structures that support increased autonomy.

ISPs are afforded the following autonomies:

  1. Exemption from Network membership and Network Chief oversight.
  2. Exemption from budget and CIWP approval.
  3. Increased flexibility with budget and purchasing.
  4. Professional learning autonomy for ISPs and their staff, except for CPS-mandated training.
  5. Modified principal evaluation within state requirements, including no requirement to submit evidence for SY2017 evaluation, and option for peer evaluation. (Note, two formal observations and a final rating are state requirements.)

ISPs are expected to:

  1. Expand leadership impact by serving in one or more leadership capacities, including but not limited to mentoring, demonstration school, and/or advising CPS Departments.
  2. Attend two annual ISP meetings: a Kick-Off Meeting and a Focus Group Meeting, as well as provide feedback via surveys or focus group.
  3. Maintain or improve school performance.
  4. Remain in good standing across key district metrics in an annual review of school performance.
  5. Respond to direct Central Office inquiries and remain compliant for all district-wide policies and procedures.
  6. Agree to remain in principal role at the current school for a minimum of two years.

Program Support

Although ISPs relinquish their existing access to Network support, ISPs will continue to receive support from Principal Quality, Parent Support Center, and the School Support Centers. The district will continue working towards:

  • Systems and structures that support increased autonomy so ISPs can meet self-directed management.
  • Reducing non-mandatory management items for principals and streamlining management requirements across all departments.

How to Apply

Principals who meet the following requirements are welcome to apply to be an ISP. Applications for School Year 2020-2021 will be available in Spring 2020, with principal selection announced in June.

Who are the Independent Schools Principals?

Find a list of Independent School Principals here.


Who are the Independent Schools Principals?

Started as ISP in SY2016

Started as ISP in SY2017

Name School Year Started as ISP
Ruth Walsh Addams SY17
Mira Weber Agassiz SY17
Lennette Coleman Ariel SY16
Catherine Plocher Burley SY17
Linda Moore Burnham SY16
Docilla Pollard Carnegie SY17
Javier Arriola-Lopez Carson SY16
Barton Dassinger Chavez SY16
William Hook Chicago Agriculture HS SY17
Marcey Sarensen Clemente HS SY17
Kathleen Hagstrom Disney SY16
Serena Peterson Ebinger SY17
Chad Weiden Edgebrook SY16
Judith Sauri Edwards SY17
Dennis Sweeney Grissom SY17
Kittae Kim Gunsaulus SY17
James Gray Hamilton SY17
Nathan Pietrini Hawthorne SY17
Paul Powers Jones HS SY16
Juan Ocon Juarez HS SY16
Delena Little Keller SY16
Dawn Caetta Kinzie SY16
Lauren Albani Lasalle II SY17
Lisa Epstein Lee SY17
Angela Sims Lenart SY16
Mihael Boraz Lincoln Park HS SY16
Jay Thompson Lloyd SY16
Jo Easterling-Hood McDowell SY17
Nicole Milberg Mitchell SY17
Karime Asaf Moos SY16
Catherine Reidy Mount Greenwood SY17
Margaret Kouretsos Nightingale SY17
Manuel Adrianzen Nobel SY17
Timothy Devine Payton HS SY16
Brigitte Swenson Peace & Education SY17
Okab Hassan Peck SY16
Mariel Laureano Prieto SY16
Deborah Clark Skinner SY16
Ethan Netterstrom Skinner North SY17
Jerry Travlos Smyser SY17
Tara Shelton south Loop SY16
Olimpia Bahena Talcott SY17
Jacqueline Medina Talman SY17
Gerardo Arriaga Tonti SY17
Rita Raichoudhuri Wells HS SY17
Joyce Kenner Young HS SY16
Ruth Garcia Zapata SY16


Contact Us

Department of Principal Quality
42 West Madison, Chicago, IL 60602
(773) 553-1515

Page Last Modified on Thursday, July 18, 2019