Northwest Middle School
Margaret Byrne is the principal of Northwest Middle School and is serving on the PAC to learn about district policies and collaborate with colleagues.
Seward Communication Arts Academy
For eight years, Nora Cadenas has served as principal of Seward Communication Arts Academy in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. She is extremely honored to be a part of the Principal Advisory Council and looks forward to supporting her colleagues and learning from their experience.
Sumner Math and Science Community Academy
After two years as assistant principal, Fatima Cooke is serving in her third year as principal of Sumner Math and Science Community Academy. As a member of the Principal Advisory Council, Fatima seeks to tackle concerns and new initiatives on behalf of principals, teachers, and students.
Dawes Elementary School
Mary Dixon is the principal of Dawes Elementary School located in the Ashburn community on the Southwest Side of Chicago. As a lead principal in Network 10, Mary serves on the PAC to keep her colleagues informed and share their suggestions and concerns to the CPS leadership team.
Dr. Leonard Harris
Nancy B. Jefferson School
Dr. Leonard Harris is in his third year serving as principal of Nancy B. Jefferson School, which exclusively serves detained youth. Jefferson students have identifiable needs that must be met for graduation, and by targeting these needs, Leonard has improved student outcomes significantly. These needs are universal, and Leonard joined the PAC to share knowledge and learn new strategies to help all CPS students succeed.
Brooks College Prep High School
Shannae Jackson is the principal of Brooks College Prep High School. She joined the Principal Advisory Council to learn more about policies and programs that impact students, schools, staff, and stakeholders. In addition, she wants to be a collaborative contributor and voice in the district’s success.
Joseph E. Gary Elementary School
Alberto Juarez is the proud principal of Joseph E. Gary Elementary School in the Little Village neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Alberto joined the PAC so he could represent fellow Network 7 schools in discussions on district-wide policies and initiatives.
Manda M. Lukic
Daniel Beard Elementary School
Manda Lukic has served as the principal at Daniel Beard Elementary School for over eight years. As an intervention school promoting successful early childhood outcomes, Beard provides immediate support services to two distinctly different groups of students: preschoolers and kindergarten through third-grade students with diverse learning needs. Manda believes that all students can learn, regardless of their disability or age.
William H. Brown STEM Magnet School
Latoya Lyons is a twenty-year CPS educator and the proud principal of William H. Brown STEM Magnet School in the Near West community on the West Side of Chicago. Latoya joined the PAC because she believes in the district’s vision and wants to be an active contributor to positive change.
Thomas Kelly High School
Raul Magdaleno is in his second year serving as principal of Thomas Kelly High School in Chicago’s Brighton Park Community. As a former CPS student, teacher, and current CPS parent, Raul brings the voices of all stakeholders to his role on the Principal Advisory Council.
Muchin College Prep
Emily Mason is the proud principal of Muchin College Prep (Go Mountain Lions!), and serves on the PAC to bring a charter school perspective to district policy discussions and actions. Emily is also focused on bringing what she learns from the PAC back to her own network.
Chicago Academy High School
Lydia Menzer is the proud principal of Chicago Academy High School. She is honored to join the Principal Advisory Council to serve as a liaison between the principals in her network and Central Office. Lydia is also eager to have a voice in conversations about how to continue the tremendous growth being achieved in CPS high schools.
Ali N. Muhammad
Corliss Early College STEM High School
Ali Muhammad is the proud principal of his alma mater, Corliss Early College STEM High School. Ali is serving on the PAC to champion the vision of excellent senior leadership in CPS and to be an integral part of the district’s growth as we strive to provide equitable education to students across the city.
P. Joseph Powers, Ph.D.
Jones College Prep
P. Joseph Powers joined CPS in 2008 as principal of Jones College Prep and serves on the PAC to provide district leadership with a perspective informed by more than 45 years in the field of education.
Carl Schurz High School
Anthony Rodriguez is the principal of Carl Schurz High School in Chicago’s Old Irving Park neighborhood. He is proud to serve on the Principal Advisory Council and hopes to represent the voices of his fellow neighborhood high school principals.
Chicago Academy High School
Lydia Ryan is the proud principal of Chicago Academy High School (CAHS), and joined the PAC to serve as a liaison between principals in her network and Central Office, as well as to participate in conversations about how to continue the tremendous growth in the district’s high schools.
Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School
Fareeda Shabazz is the founding principal of Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School, Chicago’s premier health science high school. As principal, Fareeda is responsible for directing Crane’s marketing and branding efforts, establishing viable and sustainable partnerships within the Illinois Medical District, developing a student-focused college-preparatory curriculum, and recruiting dedicated teachers. Fareeda joined the PAC in order to serve her fellow educators and to share her perspective on developing and sustaining new schools in the district.
Dr. Femi Skanes
Morgan Park High School
Dr. Femi Skanes is in her eighth year serving as the proud principal of Morgan Park High School. She is passionate about using a Multi-Tiered System of Supports framework to propel student success. Femi joined the PAC to use her expertise as a seasoned CPS administrator to promote success and provide feedback on various district initiatives. She deeply believes in the CPS mission and is honored to serve on the PAC for a second year.
Friedrich Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Jennifer Sutton is in her twenty-first year as an educator and her second year as principal at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center. Jennifer joined the PAC to support the district’s focus on equity, design solutions based on the CPS Five-Year Vision, and focus on providing schools with the resources they need to succeed.
Esmeralda Santiago Charter School - Acero
Melissa Sweazy is in her ninth year as the founding principal of Esmeralda Santiago Charter School - Acero. She is serving on the PAC for a second year because she believes deeply in CPS and wants to elevate the voices of principals, teachers, and students. Melissa actively seeks opportunities to work alongside her CPS colleagues and appreciates acting as a liaison between charter schools and traditional district schools.
Peace and Coalition High School
Brigitte Swenson has proudly dedicated twenty-two years to the Peace and Education Coalition High School (PECHS) as a founding teacher and principal. After leading PECHS for eleven years, she continues to focus on positively impacting the educational experiences of our district’s most vulnerable students. As a member of the PAC, Brigitte hopes to offer her perspective, experience, and support to the district as CPS continues its commitment to equity and excellence for all students.
Burnside Scholastic Academy
Kelly Thigpen is principal of Burnside Scholastic Academy on the South Side of Chicago, and serves on the PAC as a voice for her staff, students, and families. Over the past 20-plus years, Kelly has developed a big-picture perspective on the district through her experiences as a CPS student, parent, teacher, math coach, assistant principal, and currently, principal.
Jasmine L. Thurmond
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy of Social Justice
Jasmine L. Thurmond is the principal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy of Social Justice in the Englewood community on the South Side of Chicago. She joined the PAC because it is an opportunity to help the CPS vision come into fruition, and actively and positively contribute to refining district-wide policies and procedures to ultimately increase student achievement and success.
Dr. Amy Vondra
Alexander Hamilton Elementary School
Dr. Amy Vondra is the principal of Alexander Hamilton Elementary School and serves on the PAC in order to support the district’s continuous improvement efforts to provide a high-quality education to all students.