- School District U-46
U-46 Welcomes New Administrators for the 2019-20 School Year
Aug. 6, 2019
School District U-46 is preparing for the 2019-20 school year with new leaders stepping into top administrator roles. Some of these professionals have recently joined the District, or have been promoted from within U-46 to serve a new role. U-46 District and school administrators oversee schools, District-wide programs and services, collaborate with staff and teachers, and guide our families to help students achieve academic success.
“The start of the school year is always an exciting time, with lots of fresh beginnings,” said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “We are pleased to welcome new professionals to U-46, and to congratulate longtime U-46 employees who are taking on new roles. They all join staff who are eager to work on behalf of our more than 38,000 students and their families.”
The following individuals have been named to positions that were left vacant due to retirements, resignations, or other opportunities within the District.
High School Principals
Dr. Jennifer Van Deusen - Principal of Streamwood High School
Dr. Jennifer Van Deusen brings more than a decade of experience in U-46 to her new position as principal of Streamwood High School.
Prior to being appointed in June as interim principal and then principal at SHS, Dr. Van Deusen had served as the associate principal at Bartlett High School since 2014 and was a dean of students before that. She joined U-46 in 2006 as an English teacher at Elgin and South Elgin high schools.
Dr. Van Deusen holds her undergraduate degree in English from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a Masters of Science in educational leadership from the University of New England, and a Doctorate in ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University. She is dedicated to fostering a culture of lifelong learning through student-focused and intervention-based instruction.
Middle School Principals
Ms. Charlotte Coleman - Principal of Kimball Middle School
Ms. Charlotte Coleman had served as the principal of Nature Ridge Elementary School in Bartlett since 2013 before being appointed as the incoming principal of Kimball Middle School.
Ms. Coleman first joined the District as a teacher in 2005, then served as the assistant principal of Nature Ridge Elementary in Bartlett before taking the top job there. Prior to joining U-46, Ms. Coleman served as a teacher and then as curriculum coordinator for the Hattiesburg (Mississippi) Public Schools.
Ms. Coleman holds her undergraduate degree in elementary education and her Masters of Science from Alcorn State University in Mississippi. She also holds her Master’s degree in general administration from Northern Illinois University, and is working towards her superintendent endorsement from Aurora University.
Elementary School Principals
Ms. Cyndi S. Aleman - Principal of Nature Ridge Elementary School
Ms. Cyndi Aleman, who has worked in U-46 for more than 20 years, has been hired as the principal of Nature Ridge Elementary School in Bartlett.
For the last three years, she served as the assistant principal at Hillcrest Elementary School in Elgin. Prior to that experience, much of Ms. Aleman’s U-46 career was spent teaching down the road at Liberty Elementary School in Bartlett. She also worked as a summer school professional development provider, a summer school intern, a building committee leader, a Eureka math specialist, a Battle of the Books coach, school reading night leader, and school science representative.
Between 1991 and 1999, Ms. Aleman worked as a teacher at St. Joseph School in Elgin, as well as Bloomingdale School District 13, Palatine School District 15, and St. Raymond Catholic School in Mt. Prospect.
Ms. Aleman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education at Eastern Illinois University. She earned her Master of Art degree in curriculum and instruction at Concordia University in Chicago. She has also earned at Type 75 General Administrative Certificate at Aurora University and an English as a Second Language endorsement at Northern Illinois University.
Mr. Joel Pollack - Principal of Creekside Elementary School
Before arriving at U-46 in the spring of 2019 as the principal at Creekside Elementary School in Elgin, Mr. Pollack had served as the associate provost at the University of Chicago, overseeing pre-K-12 education initiatives.
Mr. Pollack also previously served as the chief education officer for Acero Schools, and from 2013 to 2017, the deputy superintendent of instruction for North Chicago Community Unit School District 187. From 2008 to 2013, Mr. Pollack held leadership positions at the Academy for Urban School Leadership.
Before moving into leadership positions, Mr. Pollack served as a teacher in traditional and non-traditional settings for 10 years.
Mr. Pollack earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy at Harvard University. He earned a Master of Education degree in education and social policy from Northwestern University and a second Master of Education degree in administration and supervision from National Louis University. He earned his superintendent’s endorsement from Loyola University in Chicago.
Ms. Tiffany Robinson - Principal of Lowrie Elementary School
Ms. Tiffany Robinson has been selected as the principal of Lowrie Elementary School in Elgin. With more than 18 years of experience in education as a teacher, teacher leader, and administrator, Ms. Robinson brings a student-centered focus to her role with experience collaborating with students, families, school staff, and district leaders to best support student success. Ms. Robinson’s leadership portfolio includes multiple contexts in which she has worked to engage others around her passion for excellent instruction for all students, supporting dual language programming, and ensuring access to opportunities for students from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Ms. Robinson joined U-46 last year and served as the assistant principal at Hilltop Elementary in Elgin. In that role, Ms. Robinson worked in co-partnership with the principal to motivate and provide direction for all staff to work toward the District strategic plan, school mission, and school improvement plan. As a matter of practice, Ms. Robinson always uses student data to drive decisions to support the academic and social-emotional well being of all students. She works in collaboration with staff, students, families, and community members to develop innovative ways to support student learning, such as the recent development of a school garden at Hilltop. While serving as an assistant principal, Ms. Robinson also was a member of the District Student Conduct Committee and Dual Language Advisory Committee. She is also currently seeking her ESL endorsement in order to better support teachers with core instruction in ways that benefit all learners.
Ms. Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications at the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts degree in elementary teaching and learning at DePaul University in Chicago. She earned a general administration certificate from Aurora University.
Ms. Stephanie M. Sylvester - Principal of Liberty Elementary School
Ms. Stephanie Sylvester held the assistant principal role at Liberty Elementary School in Bartlett for two years before being chosen this summer to fill the principal position there. She has worked in U-46 for 12 years.
From 2013 to 2017, Ms. Sylvester served as a peer consultant teacher in the District. Between 2008 and 2013, Ms. Sylvester was a K-6 special education resource teacher at Lowrie Elementary School in Elgin, an extraordinary needs 7th and 8th grade teacher at Canton Middle School in Streamwood, and a cross-cat special education 7th and 8th grade teacher at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin.
Prior to joining U-46, Ms. Sylvester worked as a teacher in Brookwood Middle School District 167, Benjamin School District 25, and Cicero School District 99.
Ms. Sylvester earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education and a Master of Arts degree in administration at Bradley University in Peoria. She earned a second Master of Arts degree in executive leadership and organizational change from Roosevelt University. She also holds a Learning Behavior Specialist and English as a Second Language Endorsement.
Mr. Noe Velazquez - Principal of Lords Park Elementary School
Mr. Noe Velazquez has worked in U-46 for 14 years, most recently for two years as the assistant principal at Highland Elementary School in Elgin before being appointed this summer to serve as the principal of Lords Park Elementary School in Elgin.
From 2009 to 2017, Mr. Velazquez was as a science teacher at Ellis Middle School where he served as the data coach on the School Improvement Team, a PBIS universal coach, a cultural competency facilitator, and more. He has also served as a facilitator with the U-46 Parent Leadership Institutes since 2013.
From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Velazquez worked as an at-risk teacher at Elgin High School. Mr. Velazquez started his career as a bilingual paraprofessional in Community Unit District 300.
Mr. Velazquez earned his Bachelor of Science in geology and environmental science from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Science in education from the American College of Education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction, and a Masters of Art in curriculum and instruction from American College of Education and a Masters of Art in educational leadership from Concordia University in Chicago.
Mr. Adam Zurko - Principal of Wayne Elementary School
Mr. Adam Zurko is new to U-46, but he spent the past 13 years serving in administration roles similar to his new position as principal of Wayne Elementary School in Wayne.
Mr. Zurko was an elementary principal in Meridian District 223 from 2006 to 2011 and then an elementary principal and district administrator in Rochelle Elementary School District 231 until accepting the job in U-46.
In Rochelle, Mr. Zurko also provided visionary leadership and oversight of its state and federal grant operations, coordinated Early Childhood/Preschool for All programming, and collaborated with colleagues to lead many other curriculum and instruction initiatives and programs.
Prior to advancing to an administrator position, Mr. Zurko served as an elementary teacher in Kaneland District 302 and Cherry Creek School District in Greenwood Village in Colorado from 2001 to 2006.
Mr. Zurko earned his Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and his Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He earned his Master of Arts in educational leadership at Aurora University and his Educational Specialist Degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.