About Hamilton » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Dear Hamilton Community,
With great enthusiasm, excitement, and honor, I am writing to you as the new principal of Hamilton Elementary School! I have believed for a long time that Hamilton is the premier neighborhood fine and performing arts school in the Lakeview community. It is with that belief that I am looking forward to working with the entire Hamilton community to continue the culture, relationships, and traditions that Hamilton students, staff, and families have come to know and love.
I am a passionate and seasoned instructional leader with over 20 years of experience teaching in Chicago Public Schools. I have earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University and a Master's of Education in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I am currently pursuing my Doctorate of Urban Education Leadership. As a classroom teacher with a focus in the primary grades, I began my teaching career, then transitioned to supporting students and teachers as a reading specialist and literacy coach. In addition, I have spent the last four years as the Assistant Principal at Hearst Elementary School, focusing on building teacher capacity and shared leadership.
My intense desire and inquisitive nature towards teaching and learning have inspired me to grow as a leader. However, my three children, and the Lakeview community, where I have lived with my husband of 22 years, have profoundly prepared me to lead Hamilton today. 
As an educator and parent of the Hamilton community, I know I share many of the same concerns, hopes, and dreams as parents and teachers in the Hamilton community. Raising my three children, George, an 8th grader at Hamilton, Nicolette, a graduate of Hamilton and a junior in the performing arts program at Lincoln Park, and Billy, a recent graduate of Whitney Young, have made me the school leader I am today. 
I am committed to ensuring students at Hamilton will experience a socially just, safe, and learning-focused environment while having continued access to the tools and support needed to experience school as a safe, inclusive, and joyful place to learn and play. 
By focusing on the whole child, I believe students at Hamilton can discover their talents, interests, and identity while engaging in learning activities that develop their academic capacity, compassion, and broader perspective for the world in which they live.
I am currently working with Dr. Vondra, Dr. Brewer, and Mrs. Kelly to ensure a smooth leadership transition. In addition, I have spent my first days at Hamilton visiting our kindergarten students who are attending our Kickoff to Kindergarten program, meeting Hamilton staff, and learning the current systems and structures in place.
As the principal of Hamilton, I look forward to partnering with staff, students, families, and the community to uphold Hamilton's tradition to work hardplay fair, and take care of each other while growing the legacy of this neighborhood gem we all know and love as Hamilton! 
In the upcoming weeks, I will be working tirelessly with the leadership team at Hamilton to ensure a safe and successful start to the school year. Soon, I will be sharing updates regarding the opening of school and exciting events to kick off the 2022 school year! 
Kristin Blathras