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School District U-46 Hosts Twelfth Annual ‘Principal for a Day’ Event

Dec. 4, 2019

The state’s second largest school district will once again open school doors and invite community leaders to learn more about the inner workings of running a school during the 12th annual School District U-46 Principal for a Day event on Friday. The event gives more than 60 local leaders an opportunity to see firsthand how principals guide school teams to meet the academic, social, and emotional goals for each student. 

Participating guest principals include local leaders representing chambers of commerce, state and local elected officials, police and fire departments, and leaders in the areas of medicine, finance, business and education. The U-46 team welcomes guest principals to return to schools and build long-term partnerships that will support each school’s priorities and goals. Guest principals, for example, might sponsor a school activity, mentor and tutor, host a field trip or provide an internship for a high school student to explore a career of interest.

"Strong public schools enable communities to thrive, and strong community support helps schools and students to thrive," said Tony Sanders, CEO of School District U-46. "While we host one Principal for a Day event each year, we welcome community partnerships and relationships year-round."

Each year the District aims to invite new community leaders to the event; 36 of the 62 guest principals are new to the role this year. Representatives from Side Street Studio Arts and Bartlett Chamber of Commerce are among the new participants.

Side Street Studio Arts offers a program called “Community Moves,” that helps children find their voice through artistic expression. The organization, based in Elgin, also provides on-site after-school programming for our young student artists.

“I am excited to visit with the U-46 school team and students,” said Side Street Studio Arts Executive Director Tanner Melvin. “Together we can help build the foundation for our youth to become well-rounded and responsible citizens.”

Bartlett Area Chamber President Nanette Gudenkauf wants to bring awareness of career opportunities available through local businesses.

“Principal for a Day is the perfect opportunity to form a stronger connection with U-46, which is why I am thrilled to be involved with this event,” said Gudenkauf. “We share a common value of wanting students to succeed.”

To conclude the Principal for a Day event, the guests will convene for a luncheon sponsored by Marco, a leading technology services provider, at Villa Olivia in Bartlett. The featured speaker, Illinois State Board of Education Chair Darren Reisberg, will address state education initiatives during the luncheon. Mr. Reisberg had previously served as the general counsel and deputy superintendent of the ISBE between 2005 and 2012. He is currently the vice president of programs and strategy at the Joyce Foundation, a nonpartisan private foundation that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the people in the Great Lakes region.

WHO: Community leaders, U-46 schools.

WHAT: Community leaders will visit schools to serve as a “Principal for a Day.”

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6.
8 a.m. to noon - Guest principals at U-46 schools.
Noon to 2 p.m. - Luncheon at Villa Olivia, 1401 W. Lake St., Bartlett.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Available at schools all morning.

Reporters who want to cover or photograph the event, please RSVP with Mary Fergus at

Below is a chart that outlines which community leaders will serve at which school.




Principal for a Day


Principal for a Day


Abbott M.S.

Kathy Davis

Anna Lalley

Elgin Police Department



Bartlett Elem.

John Signatur

Laura Czarnecki

Village of Carol Stream



Bartlett H.S.

Mike Demovksy

Nanette Gudenkauf

Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce

Danny Malouf

HARTING, Inc. of North America

Canton M.S.

Jeffrey Smith

Eric Pagels

Streamwood Police Department



Centennial Elem.

Sarah N. Rabe

Patrick Ullrich

Bartlett Police Department



Central School Programs

Tracy Morton

Tameron Keeffe

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin



Century Oaks Elem.

Dr. Andrea Erickson

Tish Powell

City of Elgin



Channing Elem.

Josefina Melendez

Debra Marton




Clinton Elem.

John Oliver

Karina Villa

State Representative 49th House



Coleman Elem.

Brian Stark

Scott Vanderlee

Midwest Transit Equipment



Creekside Elem.

Joel Pollack

Darren Reisberg

Illinois State Board of Education



Dream Academy

Krystal Bush

Dr. David Sam

Elgin Community College



Eastview M.S.

Donald Donner

William Gabrenya

Bartlett Fire Department



Elgin H.S.

Krystal J. Thomas

Dr. Nikki Fennern

Judson University



Ellis M.S.

Yvette G. Gonzalez-


Mary Perkins

Elgin Community College



Fox Meadow Elem.

Sjoukje Brown

Elisa Lara

VNA Health Care



Garfield Elem.

Dr. Kyle D. Bunker

Tanner Melvin

Side Street Studio Arts

Melissa Owens

U-46 Board of Education

Glenbrook Elem.

Cheryl DeRoo

Velma Sept

U-46 African American Advisory Council



Hanover Countryside.

Harold Shepherd

Michelle Mussman

State Representative 56th House



Harriet Gifford Elem.

Joe Corcoran

Maggie Sifuentes

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois



Hawk Hollow Elem.

Noelle Dupuis

Brandi Ramundo

Wayne Township



Heritage Elem.

Catherine Fletcher

Ilir Sako

Horace Mann



Highland Elem.

Steve Johnson

Sue Kerr

U-46 Board of Education



Hillcrest Elem.

Teresa Winters

Robert Cox

RCDC Services



Hilltop Elem.

Dr. Kyle VonSchnase

Angi Cholewa

Alignment Collaborative for Education



Horizon Elem.

Jennifer Schwardt

Sharmin Shahjahan

Village of Hanover Park



Huff Elem.

Dr. Angelica Ernst

Alex Quigley

City of Elgin



Illinois Park

Apryl Lowe

Larry Bury

U-46 Citizens' Advisory Council




Lisa Bergbreiter

Dawn Curran

U-46 Educational Foundation



Kenyon Woods M.S.

Lisa Olsem

Kelly Quinn

Three Fires Council, Boy Scouts of America



Kimball M.S.

Charlotte Coleman

Rose Martinez

City of Elgin



Larkin H.S.

Jamie Crosen

Vince Coyle

Kane County State's Attorney Office



Larsen M.S.

Gina Crespo

Tim Sgutt


Eva Porter

U-46 Board of Education

Laurel Hill Elem.

Maria A. Lopez

Dennis Mondero

Chinese Mutual Aid Association



Liberty Elem.

Stephanie Sylvester

Denise Maiz

Bartlett Fire District



Lincoln Elem.

Abbie Eklund

Veronica Medrano

U-46 Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee



Lords Park Elem.

Noe Velazquez

Carrie Frost

Anderson Animal Shelter



Lowrie Elem.

Tiffany Robinson

Emma Eschenfeldt

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois



McKinley Elem.

Juan Lira

Rick Reigner

The Salvation Army



More at Four

Angela Gallegos

Amber Peters

Elgin Partnership for Early Learning



Nature Ridge Elem.

Cyndi S. Aleman

Diane Pappas

State Representative 45th House



Oakhill Elem.

Laura Alegria

Kari Christensen

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra



Ontarioville Elem.

Dr. Elizabeth Ma

Monika Gadek-Stephan

ECC Education & Work Center in Hanover Park



Otter Creek Elem.

David Aleman

Heather Weiss




Parkwood Elem.

Ana Arroyo

Herb Porter

Village of Hanover Park



Prairieview Elem.

Paul Flatley

Fiona Cummings

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois



Ridge Circle Elem.

Janelle Raine

Andrea Fox

Image Design Marketing



Ronald D. O'Neal Elem.

Marcie Marzullo

Margaret Frisch Klein

Congregation Kneseth Israel



South Elgin H.S.

Brian Moran

Kevin Wallace

Village of Bartlett

Peter Sikorski

Get Fresh Produce

Spring Trail Elem.

Amy Kendryna

Stephen Schmidt

Carol Stream Police Department



Streamwood H.S.

Jennifer Van Deusen

Dr. Gene Crume

Judson University



Sunnydale Elem.

Dr. Maria Valdovinos-


Fanny Diego Alvarez

Grand Victoria Foundation



Sycamore Trails Elem.

Lisa Cardenas

Victoria Anderson

Bartlett Police Department



Tefft M.S.

Luis Fernando DeLeon

Michael Schwartz

Streamwood Police Department



Timber Trails Elem.

Dr. Elisa Biancalana

Samantha Allowy

Lazarus House



Washington Elem.

Lori Brandes

Joy Pak

Chinese Mutual Aid Association



Wayne Elem.

Adam Zurko

Martin McManamon

Wayne Township Road District



Willard Elem.

Dustin Covarrubias

Sara Sabo

Gail Borden Public Library