By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Kenwood Academy High School has been hard at work this summer putting together a team of administrative leaders that will continue the school’s mission to cultivate graduates who will strive within competitive institutions and become influential leaders in their local and broader communities.
Last week, Kenwood Academy, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., announced its three new assistant principals for the 2018 to 2019 school year. The three newest additions to the Bronco family include Kenwood’s former resident principal, Corrine O’Connell, Corey Morrison, who previously served as resident principal at LaSalle II Magnet Elementary School in Wicker Park and Kenwood alumna Sherry Ball.
“I was looking for a team equipped with a diverse set of skills and strengths that would fill in the gaps where need be in the school,” said Kenwood’s new principal Karen Calloway. “I believe this team has what the school needs to improve the learning experience for all students and provide faculty the support it needs.”
The Local School Council selected Calloway, who was previously Kenwood’s assistant principal, as the school’s new principal in May after outgoing Principal Dr. Gregory Jones announced that he would leave the position on Sept. 1.
O’Connell who has worked at Kenwood since 2015, specializes in working with the Academic Center students, Advanced Placement and dual credit programming and diverse learner support. This year, O’Connell will be working on improving Kenwood’s outreach and support to its diverse learners in order to maximize the success of all students, by giving all students and educators the tools to reach their full potential.
O’Connell said she is “passionate about her work at Kenwood Academy and couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Bronco community.”
Morrison said he was “excited to join the fantastic staff at Kenwood Academy High School,” in his new role as assistant principal. Morrison’s responsibilities will primarily support the instructional core in mathematics and science. He will also oversee interscholastic sports, facilities and other school-related tasks.
Morrison said he was “humbled to be on such a fantastic team” and “looks forward to continuing the tradition of excellence at Kenwood Academy High School.”
As a Kenwood Academy alumnus and former intern principal at Thomas Edison K – 8 School in Boston, Assistant Principal Ball is “thrilled to now be a leader in the community that made such a positive impact on my life.”
Ball said that Kenwood “helped shape me and opened doors to many of my successes.”
She said she looks forward to building with school stakeholders and fostering that same impact on students, and more.
“Our mission for this year is to to continue to grow as a viable school choice in Hyde Park and surrounding areas by enhancing our diverse learning population, instruction strategies, fulfilling our students social and emotional needs and focusing on student achievement in males of color,” said Calloway. “For that reason, we’re adding a few improvements to the school this year.”
In addition to its new leadership team, Calloway announced that Kenwood will have an additional full-time school counselor to meet the students social and emotional needs, Calloway described the decision to hire a new counselor as one of the schools “focus points” of the upcoming academic year.
“We want to improve our learning environment for all students. That comes by receiving the right support that meets all of our students needs,” Calloway said.
The school has also partnered with the University of Chicago and will be launching an internship project this academic year, where two interns from the university will be available on the school campus two days a week to offer students grief and anxiety support, as well as counseling.
Another exciting addition to the school’s team will be a communications coordinator that will help improve and update the school’s website to better engage the community about activities and regular updates.
Calloway also announced that the new team is planning a “Meet and Greet” event the first month of school, so that Bronco community and friends can get to know the newest additions to the Kenwood family. The date of the event will be announced later.
“We’re excited to start the new school year and for the Kenwood community to meet our team,” said Calloway.