Stacy Stewart, 2018 Fellow
2018 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award Recipient
Belmont-Cragin Elementary School | Chicago, IL
Stacy Stewart has improved learning at Belmont-Cragin Elementary by using an approach that combines personalized learning with dual-language education and social and emotional learning. As the principal of Belmont-Cragin, a school community of 575 students in Pre-K through 8th grade, including more than 90 percent who qualify for the free and reduced meal program and 68 percent English-language learners, she tackles all challenges to ensure that staff and students can achieve.
Stewart, who has led Belmont-Cragin for eight years and has been a CPS employee for 25 years, has persevered and excelled in the current semi-permanent school facility. She diligently pursues a path of success for students and staff. Stewart has secured grants, partnerships and volunteers to provide resources to students and teachers. To close the student achievement gap, she worked with nonprofit LEAP Innovations last year to increase personalized learning practices, with a focus on professional development to prepare teachers for the new instructional approach. The school has improved their designation from a Level 3 rating in 2010 to a Level 1+ in 2017. Belmont-Cragin currently is recognized nationally as an “Ashoka Change Maker” school with a Gold Circle NAEYC Accredited Early Childhood Center. In 2016, the school also earned the “Exemplary Award” for social and emotional learning from CPS.
Collaboration is a key concept that Stewart promotes at Belmont-Cragin. In addition to staff and students, she works closely with parents to bring them into the school family. When immigrant students joined the school, she helped their families find clothes, housing and other resources. She also empowers families to develop their skills and voice in a community that is underdeveloped. As a colleague noted, “She just brings out the best in people.”
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