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Take Five with Assistant Principal Joseph Rosen

02 December 2022

Within just a few months of his first teaching job, AP Rosen knew he couldn't ever imagine leaving the education profession.

A photo of Joseph Rosen speaking at a podium

Take Five is a series that highlights some of the many CPS staff members who are going above and beyond for our schools. If you know someone who is making a difference, nominate them to be featured here.


This week, we are pleased to introduce Joseph Rosen, the assistant principal at Cesar E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center. Earlier this fall, AP Rosen was awarded the 2022 Everyday Champion Administrator Award from the National Center for Learning Disabilities. This award recognizes administrators and educators who have gone “above and beyond” in serving students with learning disabilities, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Born and raised in Chicago, AP Rosen’s educational career began when his cousin encouraged him to apply for Teach for America after college graduation. Even though AP Rosen had originally planned on going to medical school, he quickly discovered that he loved everything about teaching. Within only a few months, AP Rosen realized that he couldn’t see himself ever leaving the education profession, and he ended up teaching at McDowell Elementary for six years. He then served as a resident principal on the near west side before becoming the assistant principal at Chávez almost nine years ago.

What is your approach to serving students who have the greatest learning needs?

We are very data-oriented at Chávez, and we do a lot of group collaboration and targeted supports. For example, this past year we identified which students had the highest percentage of failed assignments. Then, we sat down as a team to figure out how we could better serve these students and what supports might be missing. We don’t let anyone slip through the cracks. At Chávez, every single staff member really cares about doing everything they can to help each student succeed.

What is most rewarding about your job?

Seeing student results. I really love seeing our students succeed, especially when they head off to high school. I also take a lot of pride in the reading growth our young students have made. This is a credit to our absolutely amazing primary teachers, and I love being able to recognize their work. For example, every three years the education company Amplify spotlights what’s working well in literacy education, and Chávez has been recognized twice since I’ve been here.

What is special about your school community?

The culture. Whenever guests visit, the first thing they say is that it just feels good to be here. We are incredibly value-focused; our community values are interwoven throughout everything we do. We also prioritize building strong relationships among students, staff, and our community members. I am so proud to be part of this community!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I do a lot of climbing — I boulder and top rope climb on the weekends. It’s really fun. I’m not afraid of heights, but I’m also not “not” afraid of heights. I also like to golf with my family when the weather is nice. 

What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

I have been on Family Feud! Two of my cousins, two of my brothers, and I all got flown out to Atlanta to film. We were the last family to get called, and we got absolutely crushed. Our minds just went blank. It might have been one of the biggest losses in Family Feud history!

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