Christopher Allen is currently the principal of two schools within the Acero Charter Schools network (Acero). He is entering his 10th year as the principal of SPC Daniel Zizumbo (Zizumbo) and his fourth year as the principal of PFC Omar E. Torres (Torres). The schools collectively serve a predominantly Hispanic student population of 1,200 between kindergarten and eighth grade. Christopher is proud of the consistently strong academic outcomes at both Zizumbo and Torres, which he has maintained through his leadership. Since the 2010-11 school year, both schools have achieved Level 1/1+ ratings on the district’s School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) every year. Christopher credits the dedicated and hard-working staff at both schools as a key part of this success.
To continue performing at high academic standards across Zizumbo and Torres, Christopher is focusing on expanding individualized instruction in reading and math. In doing so, he will also be giving greater autonomy to teachers to differentiate in more innovative ways.
Christopher grew-up in Southern California, but spent a few years of his childhood overseas in the United Kingdom and Iran. He began his career as a bookstore manager before becoming a middle school teacher at the age of 30. In doing so, he moved to Chicago as a total stranger to the city, and spent four years teaching at Rachel Carson Elementary School. He later joined Acero as a master teacher at Carlos Fuentes School and became principal of Zizumbo in 2008. Several years later, Christopher became the principal of Torres while maintaining his principal role at Zizumbo. Christopher holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Biola University and a master’s degree in school leadership from Concordia University, Chicago.
For Christopher, every day of being a principal is different and he enjoys having the opportunity to build relationships with many students, parents and teachers. Through the Fellowship experience, Christopher is looking forward to learning from peers who share similar responsibilities but have unique school contexts. He is also excited for the support of Northwestern’s faculty and hopes to gain additional insight around effectively leading a school community.