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Jen Tapia received her master’s in educational administration from Northern Illinois University, a master’s in Literacy Education from Northern Illinois University, along with an endorsement in English as a Second Language, with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She began her educational career as an elementary school teacher for 7 years working in a bilingual education program in Aurora, Illinois.  After receiving her master’s in Literacy Education, she became a Literacy coach for an elementary school building.  She then served elementary, middle and high school staff as a district Bilingual Facilitator, providing support in the areas of professional development, bilingual education, curriculum and instruction.  After receiving her master’s in educational administration, she became a Coordinator for Professional development, providing support and curriculum development in the areas of literacy and bilingual education, providing professional development and support in all content areas and to staff at all grade levels from Prekindergarten to High School.  In 2014, she helped open a new STEAM Academy serving over 500 full-day kindergarten students.  She worked collaboratively with the principal to create a unique learning experience for early childhood students with a focus on strong academic foundations, dual language programming, 1:1 technology, STEAM curriculum, along with social-emotional learning skills and curriculum.  In 2016 she became the Principal of Indian Knoll Elementary School in West Chicago, Illinois.  She has worked closely with the students, staff and community at Indian Knoll to create a safe environment where all learners are nurtured, supported, and inspired to achieve their full potential.  As a principal, she was passionate about meeting the needs of all students through a whole child approach, weekly school-wide meetings, implementation of growth mindset, setting high expectations for all students, and social-emotional programming.  She embraces the diversity of students and seeks to build awareness of the urgency to provide equitable supports for all students.  Through this philosophy, Indian Knoll saw tremendous growth in academic scores during her three year principalship, along with an environment that continues to be safe and supportive for all students and staff.  In 2019, Jen was awarded for being an Administrative Spotlight Leader for the Illinois Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.  She moved into the position of Director of Teaching and Learning for West Chicago School District 33 from 2019-2021.  In 2020, she was chosen to be a part of the distinguished Superintendent Leadership Academy through the Association for Latino Administrators and Superintendents. She graduated from SLA Cohort X in October of 2021.  This past summer, Jen and her family relocated to Florida where she became the Principal of Garrison Jones Elementary School, the only elementary dual language program in Pinellas County. She is currently a member of ALAS, FLALAS, and NABSE, was highlighted in an article from Second Step titled Shared Vision of Success for Students in D33, a previous Golden Apple Nominee, and an endorser of Dr. Nancy Boyles book, Closer Reading.

Mrs. Jen Tapia

Sheryl Leturgey is a current PhD student at Aurora University. Additionally, she received a Masters in Educational Leadership from Aurora University, with Principal and Evaluator endorsements, and a Masters in Reading from Lewis University with a Reading Specialist certification and English Language Learner endorsement. She received her bachelors in Elementary Education, with endorsments in ELA and Social Studies and an emphasis on Urban Education, from Illinois State University. 

Sheryl began teaching as a 6-8 ELA teacher in Altgeld Gardens within Chicago Public Schools. She then moved to Geneva and taught 1st grade. After obtaining her Reading Specialist certification, she was hired as a Reading Specialist and Instructional Coach in West Chicago. While in West Chicago, she worked as a Student Centered Coach and Reading Specialist at 2 way dual language school ,Gary Elementary, and Leman Middle School. After completion of her Teacher Leader program, she moved into the position of Lead Teacher for Literacy. While in this position, Sheryl supported the design and implementation of Literacy, Social Studies, and Science Curriculum Prek-8 for general education and dual language students. She hosted professional development sessions for teachers and administrators, and supported instructional coaches in becoming student centered coaches. Passionate about providing equitable instruction, increasing student agency, and implementing student centered learning, Sheryl supported teachers in implementing Readers and Writers Workshop, conferencing with students, designing unit of study, and analyzing student data to inform instruction. 

Sheryl recently welcomed a 4th baby into her family and is taking time away from a full time position while focusing on supporting families in her community looking to provide additional educational opportunities for their children. 

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Mrs. Sheryl Leturgey