Lisa Epstein is entering her sixth year as principal of Richard Henry Lee Elementary (Lee), where she has led an impressive transformation from a traditional neighborhood school into a modern community institution with a personalized learning environment. Over time, she has increased parent involvement in classrooms and developed a strong suite of partnerships, including the Chicago Bulls, Common Thread, Urban Initiatives, Daley College and LEAP Innovations. Under Lisa’s leadership, Lee improved from Level 2 to Level 1+ status, the highest possible, on the district’s School Quality Rating Policy. At the district level, Lisa is honored to serve as a mentor to aspiring resident principals and to participate on several committees.
In the upcoming school year, Lisa plans to continue strengthening Lee’s personalized learning environment and create a community where students take ownership of their learning, and develop the cognitive skills and perseverance to be prepared for future and career success.
Born and raised in Flint Michigan, Lisa attended the University of Miami and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and education. She received her master’s degree in reading from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and later completed an additional program at Lewis University to receive her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Lisa began her career in education at Kozminski Community Academy, before serving as director of the Reading First program in the CPS Office of Literacy and as an instructional coordinator in the CPS Network 4 Office. She then became a school improvement coordinator for the district, where she worked with approximately 30 schools in the Austin Neighborhood. Before taking her current role at Lee, Lisa also served as the assistant principal at Locke Elementary School.
While Lisa enjoys working with children, she also enjoys building the instructional capacity of adults – serving as an adjunct professor for Concordia University, providing school improvement and federal/state funding support to school principals.