During a regular meeting on May 14, the District 97 Board of Education approved the appointment of Amy Jefferson as the new principal at Longfellow Elementary School. Jefferson will replace Angela Dolezal, who is leaving to become director of teaching and learning with Riverside District 96.
In a statement, D97 Supt. Carole Kelley thanked Dolezal "for her tremendous leadership and dedicated service during the past 15 years, and wish her all the best in District 96."
Kelley lauded Jefferson's "diverse background in education" and her "track record for fostering the growth of all students," adding, "I believe those tremendous qualities, coupled with her knowledge, skills and passion for learning, will help advance our vision and aid our efforts to promote greater equity and inclusion across our district."
Before coming to Longfellow, Jefferson was assistant principal at Carman-Buckner Elementary School in Waukegan for two years; an ELA instructional leader and middle school team leader at the AUSL Carter School for Excellence in Chicago for four years; and a teacher who taught third-, fourth- and sixth-graders, as well as high-schoolers, for six years.
She has a bachelor's degree in English education from Rust College and a master's degree in educational leadership/administration from National Louis University. She was also recently invited to participate in the National Institute of Urban School Leaders, a program administered by Harvard University that evaluates best practices and techniques in urban schools, district officials noted in a statement.
"I consider it an honor and privilege to be the new principal for Longfellow Elementary School," Jefferson stated. "The staff members and families in this community truly value the importance of education and are fully committed to meeting the needs of all students. I am incredibly excited to join this exceptional team of remarkable individuals and look forward to working with them to help every child at Longfellow realize their full potential."
Jefferson received a 1-year contract that includes a base salary of $117,490. Her tenure begins on July 1.
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