U-46 Team Member Apryl Lowe

Apryl Lowe, Principal at Illinois Park Center for Early Learning 

Illinois Park Principal Apryl Lowe playing in gym with a preschooler

What are some of your daily work responsibilities?

To oversee the safety and learning that occurs moment to moment at Illinois Park.

How long have you worked for U-46?

I’ve worked with U-46 for 18 years.

What is it like to work for the District where you attended school and from which you graduated and what does it mean to you?

It means everything! I am able to relate to my students and their families better, since we all live in the District. Oftentimes, I find parents who I went to school with now have a child at Illinois Park. Some parents tell me they went to school with my siblings, too. I live in Elgin so I see my students and families in our community - it helps me stay connected with them. 

Which U-46 schools did you attend?

Huff Elementary School, Ellis Middle School, and Elgin High School.

What year did you graduate from high school?
I graduated in 1993.

Were you a part of an academy or any specialized program?
These programs didn’t exist when I went to high school in the dinosaur days! 

What was your favorite subject and why?
My favorite subject was math. It came easy to me, but was also challenging at the same time.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I had my favorite teacher in the 2nd grade - Mrs. Leopold. She consistently encouraged me to do my best and always made me feel special. Looking back, I know she felt this way about everyone.

Please share a favorite memory from your time as a student in U-46.
In my senior year of high school, I had the privilege of getting to volunteer for a self-contained special education class during my study hall. I helped the students get and eat their lunch. This gave me the opportunity to grow a love for working with students with special needs. It helped me determine what I wanted to major in. Twenty-six years later, I am still in the education field working with children and families with special needs. I love being able to give back to the community that I was a student in.

Briefly describe your post-secondary college and/or career experience.
I went to University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and played college basketball. I earned a double degree in early childhood and special education.

What important life or academic lesson did you learn in U-46?
I learned that leadership can be developed, even when it is not noticed. There were many faculty and staff that spent their time encouraging me and supporting me, before I even believed in myself.