U-46 administrator Patricia Makishima named future West Leyden principal
Patricia Makishima has been named as the future principal at West Leyden High School in Northlake.
She will officially start on July 1, when she begins a period of mentoring with current principal and former colleague Tatiana Bonuma.
The women worked together at Larkin High School in Elgin when Makishima served as a lead teacher in the English as a Second Language (ESL) department, and Bonuma was as her supervisor.
Currently the coordinator of English Language Leaners (ELL) Initiatives for Elgin School District U-46, Makishima says the more she looked into Leyden, the more she liked it.
"The community service, the leadership, the culture, the commitment to the students and families -- it speaks to who I am. We have the same value system and beliefs and I see that in the teachers, staff and administrators I've met," she says.
Makishima obtained an undergraduate degree in English Language and English/American Literature from the Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil. She also earned a master's degree and ESL/Bilingual endorsement from Aurora University. In addition to English, she is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Bonuma, who served as a reference for Makishima, says the future principal is dedicated to supporting students and teachers. "Her rich experience with ELL students, curriculum career pathways and formalize new supports for students. She will be able to contribute immediately to conversations about developing confident problem solvers through relevant experiences."
Superintendent Nick Polyak says Makishima has a "calm professionalism" that was immediately evident. "She is a brilliant educational leader and a tireless advocate for students and staff. Her experiences and passion for working with students, parents and community members will be important to the work we are continuing at West Leyden," he says.
Makishima, who is married and the mother of three sons, says her goal is "to continue with the growth established under the current leadership, and to get to know the staff, students, parents and community members so we can work together to benefit the students."
She adds the students' best interests are her priority. "I want to ignite the flame in the kids, and guide them to be independent, innovative learners," she says.