Key Northside staffers

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Principal James “Jay” Lalley was principal of St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School and, before that, an English teacher and department head at Brother Rice High School and assistant headmaster at Loyola Academy. His awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William T. O’Donnell Distinguished Teacher Award and educator of the year at Loyola Academy.

Assistant Principal Alan Mather has served as an English teacher and coach at Farragut, Westinghouse and Schurz high schools. Mather participated in LAUNCH (Leadership Academy and Urban Network for Chicago) at Northwestern University, a new program that recruits and trains candidates for principals’ jobs in the CPS. Most recently, he was the apprentice principal at Southside College Preparatory High School.

English Department Chair Barry McRaith most recently was a creative writing and English teacher at Von Steuben High School. He also was an English teacher and dean of student affairs at Holy Trinity High School. At Von Steuben, he received a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education to develop an integrated curriculum of math, science, history and English. McRaith was a Golden Apple Award nominee and received the Pegasus Players Theatre Teacher of the Year Award in 1998.

Math Department Chair James Lynn most recently held the same position at Foreman High School, where he was teacher of the year. Previously, he worked as a civil engineer. He teaches workshop classes in math, computers and English for the Columbia College Upward Bound program and is a trainer of teachers in the National Science Foundation’s Interactive Mathematics Program.

Science Department Chair Christine Olsen held the same position at Mather High School, where she also moderated the Chinese club. She has worked on the Argonne Teachers’ Project, which makes sophisticated science equipment available to high school teachers.

Social Studies Department Chair John “Jack” Giles left Rotary International, where he was director of public relations, in 1993 to begin teaching at Schurz High School. There, he became a teacher consultant for the National Geographic Society and the Illinois Geographic Alliance. This year, he was honored as a distinguished teacher by the National Council for Geographic Education.

Academic resource teacher Vershawn Young was a full-time lecturer at Columbia College, where he taught literature, reading, writing and public speaking courses. Previously, he was an English teacher at Hoffman Estates High School.

Business Manager Shirley Slaughter became the business manager at Piccolo Elementary in 1998 after nearly 18 years in banking.

Athletic Director Dave Vanoni came from Ames Middle School, where he developed Adventure/Physical Education, which combines physical education with other disciplines.

Fine arts coordinator Cedric Hampton was the coordinator of community programs for the One-to-One Learning Foundation, a community outreach specialist and project consultant for the Ravinia Festival Association and an adjunct professor of music at the University of Illinois at Chicago and National-Louis University. He received the Ruth Allen Fouche Heritage of Black Music award from the Chicago Park District in 1994 and the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Mexican Chamber of Commerce-Pilsen Area in 1995.

Director of Counseling Marina Medina was a counselor in charge of the College and Career Resource Center at Schurz High School.