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On June 13, the District 65 School Board approved the recommendation to appoint Michelle Cooney as the next principal of Lincoln Elementary School. The Board also approved the recommendation to appoint Stacy Beardsley as the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Both were serving in the interim roles during the 2015-2016 school year with the new appointments effective July 1.
As part of the principal selection process at Lincoln Elementary, a diverse group of teachers, educational support staff, parents, and administrators worked in collaboration to develop a leadership profile that identified the skills and attributes desired for the next school principal, said the District in a prepared statement. As the final step in the process, Superintendent Paul Goren conducted an extensive interview and ultimately recommended Michelle Cooney for the leadership role.
“Ms. Cooney has proven to be an excellent leader during a time of transition for the Lincoln community,” said Dr. Goren. “Under Ms. Cooney’s leadership, she has worked alongside teachers, staff, and families to create a culture built on trust and collaboration while keeping the best interest of students in mind. I am confident in her ability to continue this important work.”
Before serving as Lincoln’s interim principal this past year, Ms. Cooney served the school’s Assistant Principal since 2013. Prior to coming to District 65, Ms. Cooney served as Interim Principal and Assistant Principal at LEARN Charter School Network for one year and Director of Literacy at Suder Magnet Montessori School in Chicago Public Schools for two years. She also served as a Director of Literacy, Intermediate Literacy Coordinator, and 5th Grade Literacy Teacher.Ms. Cooney received a Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision from National-Louis University, a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Northwestern University.
Dr. Beardsley’s work during the past year has primarily been focused on professional learning, literacy, and technology while also increasing the level of support for the curriculum and instruction team. She was instrumental in working with teachers on the development of the District’s K-3 literacy framework and currently leads the technology discovery process.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the work that Dr. Beardsley has done since coming to District 65. She has brought a wealth of knowledge and has been a tremendous asset in supporting high quality teaching and learning in our schools,” said Dr. Goren. “Dr. Beardsley is collaborative by nature and has worked closely with our teachers and administrators to thoughtfully implement best practices in the area of curriculum and instruction.”
Prior to her interim role this past school year, Dr. Beardsley was most recently the leader and Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for Civitas Education Partners, a school management organization, in the City of Chicago. This organization is responsible for managing four Chicago International Charter School (CICS) campuses totaling 2,500 students. Her responsibilities included oversight of operations, finance, human resources, and academics including curriculum and instruction, student supports and leadership development.
Dr. Beardsley also served as CAO and co-founder of Chicago Rise and School Director at North/Kenwood Oakland Campus of the University of Chicago Charter School. She has also served as a classroom instructor and administrator. Dr. Beardsley earned a BA in economics from Boston College, an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University, and an EdD in Urban Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago.