Principal’s Corner

Dear Hamilton Community,

My name is Amy Vondra and I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Hamilton Elementary Community as the new Principal. The dedicated family and staff of the Hamilton community have worked hard for their list of accomplishments and built a superior neighborhood school that the community embraces. Through the search process for a Principal you have demonstrated your commitment to your school and your vision and hopes for the future. I wanted to take an opportunity to introduce myself and look forward to learning more about Hamilton in the coming months.

My path to school leadership has not been traditional, yet I believe it has prepared me well to support the Hamilton Community on the path to excellence. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Business Administration from Kellogg at Northwestern University and a Doctorate of Education from University of Illinois at Chicago. I began my career as a Special Education Teacher and coach and I worked in the for-profit and non-profit sectors on the west side of Chicago. I have served in every grade level in some capacity and appreciate the skills that develop as students’ progress through their elementary education. Most recently, I have spent the last four years as a high school Assistant Principal and worked through comprehensive school reform. I will strive to combine the diverse leadership experiences to benefit the students at Hamilton.

I passionately believe that all children can learn and have the right to a quality and engaging education. Students learn best when they are in an encouraging supportive environment; when they can connect new information to things they already know; when they are allowed to be creative and make choices about activities and assignments; when parents are involved in their education; when they can connect with positive adults. Focusing on the whole child, while imposing high expectations and utilizing evidence-based practices, results in successful schools like Hamilton. Student learning improves when you raise expectations, support teachers, and build a collaborative climate that is focused on learning and progress for all that are part of the school community.

Over the past two months I have been working closely with Principal Gray to transition into my role. He has been very generous with his time and wisdom as I try and learn more about the school. I have spent time meeting with the Assistant Principal Luna-Mroz, the teachers and staff as well as visiting classrooms as I prepare to fill upcoming vacancies for next year. I will be busy this summer planning for next year as I continue to learn more about the school and understand the needs of the community.

I am looking forward to partnering with teachers, students and families so that we can do great work together at Hamilton. Throughout the summer and as the new year begins, please feel free to set up an appointment, send me an email or attend one of the coffees with the principal that I hope to establish in the coming months. You will be hearing more from me as I begin this new role. Hamilton is a wonderful school community and I am so happy to be a part of it.

 

Sincerely,

Amy Vondra

aevondra@cps.edu