Linnea Garrett is entering her fourth year as the principal of Chicago Tech Academy High School
(Chicago Tech). Under her leadership, Chicago Tech is the only high school in the district implementing whole school project-based learning. She is proud of the academic improvements this has driven over the past three years, with a 30 percent increase in the number of freshman on track and a 20 percent increase in the four-year cohort graduation rate. Linnea also credits the school’s collaborative learning schedule, where teachers and staff participate in daily professional learning, as a key driver of success. More recently, The Atlantic highlighted Linnea’s creation of an innovative new program, the real-world learning program. Students attend weekly power lunches, month-long internships in a variety of Chicago businesses and a multi-week explorer series to understand the connection between education and career.
In the upcoming year, Linnea is excited to be participating in the Fellowship program with other school leaders and collaborating with like-minded educators. As a single site contract school, she is looking forward to expanding her network of supports and bringing learnings back to practice at Chicago Tech.
Linnea discovered her passion for education and Chicago youth while serving in the AmeriCorps program, City Year. She began her career as a science teacher at Julian High School, and went out to serve as science department chair and a science teacher at Harper High School. She then transitioned into a role within the CPS Office of School Improvement, working for one year in the West Side High School Network to provide instructional support for both principals and teachers. After serving as a resident principal through the Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC) at Chicago Academy High School, Linnea transitioned into her current role at Chicago Tech. Linnea received her bachelor’s degree in biology at Wittenberg University in Ohio and her two master’s degrees in educational leadership and in teaching. She is currently participating in the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship program, which is designed to help support deeper learning for students from underserved areas. Previously, she also participated in the Education Leadership Academy, a program dedicated to deeper learning, change leadership and equity in education.
Linnea believes that all students deserve the same access to experience that allow them to be successful as young adults.