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Sherry Pirtle


Alex Haley Academy

Sherry is entering her fourth year as the principal of Alex Haley Elementary Academy (Haley), which is located in the Greater Roseland Community where she grew-up and currently still lives. Under Sherry’s leadership, Haley achieved Level 1+ status on the district’s School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) during the 2016-17 school year and maintained a steady rate of attendance above 95 percent. Sherry also helped revitalized the fine arts department through annual student productions, such as Disney’s Lion King Junior and Aladdin Junior. She has strengthened Haley’s community ties by actively engaging her Local School Council (LSC) members, and pursuing partnerships with One Church One School and other organizations.

In the upcoming school year, Sherry hopes to continue creating a vibrant school culture of academics, athleticism, the arts and achievement at Haley. Watching her students grow, and develop the right mindset and skill set for success in high school, college and beyond is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job. Sherry finds motivation in the stories of former students who continue to reach out to share their personal successes and accomplishments.

Sherry began her career as a special education teacher in the Near West Side and New City communities. After five years of teaching, her principal shared a posting for a district position as a special education instructional coach, which Sherry pursued and secured. She directly supported 32 schools on the far south side of Chicago in this role, earned her master’s in school leadership and eventually became a special education administrator. She transitioned into school leadership after the principal of Songhai Learning Institute contacted her with the opportunity to become an assistant principal, and went on to lead the school as a contract principal. Sherry then accepted an interim principal role at Bradwell School of Excellence, where she increased attendance, reduced incidences of misconduct and improved the student on-track rate before taking her current position at Haley.

Sherry believes that her key responsibility is providing the tools and means necessary for students to succeed. She is excited about the opportunity to meet with and learn from other school leaders across the district through the Fellowship experience. She looks forward to bringing new learnings back to Haley to further enhance and improve the school culture.

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