Eight new principals take helm at U-46 schools
Eight new principals will take the helm at Elgin Area School District U-46 schools as classes begin Wednesday.
Among them are new hires who recently joined the district and existing employees promoted from within to positions left vacant due to retirements, resignations or employees pursuing other opportunities within the district. They are:
•Jennifer Van Deusen, Streamwood High School -- worked in U-46 for more than a decade. She was appointed in June as interim Streamwood High principal. She was associate principal at Bartlett High since 2014 and a dean of students. She joined U-46 in 2006 as an English teacher at Elgin and South Elgin high schools.
•Charlotte Coleman, Kimball Middle School in Elgin -- principal of Nature Ridge Elementary in Bartlett since 2013. She joined the district as a teacher in 2005, then became assistant principal at Nature Ridge. Coleman previously was a teacher and curriculum coordinator for the Hattiesburg (Mississippi) Public Schools.
•Cyndi Aleman, Nature Ridge Elementary School in Bartlett -- worked in U-46 for more than 20 years, serving the last three as assistant principal at Hillcrest Elementary in Elgin. For much of her U-46 career, Aleman taught at Liberty Elementary in Bartlett. She previously taught at St. Joseph School in Elgin, Bloomingdale District 13, Palatine District 15, and St. Raymond Catholic School in Mount Prospect.
•Joel Pollack, Creekside Elementary School in Elgin -- joined U-46 in the spring. He was an associate provost at the University of Chicago overseeing prekindergarten-12th grade education initiatives, the chief education officer for Acero Schools, deputy superintendent of instruction for North Chicago Unit District 187, and held leadership positions at the Academy for Urban School Leadership. Pollack also taught in traditional and nontraditional settings for 10 years.
•Tiffany Robinson, Lowrie Elementary School in Elgin -- more than 18 years experience as a teacher, teacher leader and administrator. She joined U-46 last school year as assistant principal at Hilltop Elementary in Elgin and was a member of the district's student conduct and dual language advisory committees. She is pursuing an ESL endorsement.
•Stephanie Sylvester, Liberty Elementary School in Bartlett -- assistant principal at Liberty for two years. She has worked in U-46 for 12 years as a peer consultant teacher, a special education resource teacher at Lowrie Elementary in Elgin, and teaching seventh- and eighth-graders with extraordinary needs at Canton Middle in Streamwood and seventh- and eighth-grade special education students at Kenyon Woods Middle in South Elgin.
•Noe Velazquez, Lords Park Elementary School in Elgin -- worked 14 years in U-46, most recently as assistant principal at Highland Elementary in Elgin. He was a science teacher at Ellis Middle in Elgin where he also served as a data coach, a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) universal coach, and a cultural competency facilitator. He has facilitated the U-46 Parent Leadership Institutes since 2013. Previously, he taught at-risk students at Elgin High and was a bilingual paraprofessional in Community Unit District 300.
•Adam Zurko, Wayne Elementary School in Wayne -- served in administrative roles for 13 years as an elementary principal in Meridian District 223 and an elementary principal and district administrator in Rochelle Elementary District 231. He previously taught elementary grades in Kaneland Unit District 302 and in Colorado.