At its recent meeting, the Board of Education of Chicago Heights School District 170 announced that Chris Baikauskas, Caleb Valentin, Safiyah Malvin, Jennifer Rodriguez, Tricia Wells, Cheryl Franklin, and Shawnell Nash will assume new administrative positions for the 2022-2023 school year.
Baikauskas will serve as Principal at the Chicago Heights Middle School (CHMS). He has worked in the district as a special education teacher, Dean of Students, Director of the CHSD170 REACH Program, and, most recently, as Principal at Jefferson School. In addition to his work with the district, Mr. Baikauskas serves as the 4th Ward Alderman for the City of Chicago Heights, and previously was Chairman of the Chicago Heights Police and Fire Board of Commissioners and maintained a seat on the Prairie State College Board of Trustees.
Valentin has been appointed as the Principal at Jefferson School. He most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Garfield School, where he previously worked as a classroom teacher for 18-years. He also assumed additional district-wide responsibilities, including conducting professional development activities and participating in various curriculum and instruction initiatives.
Malvin will be returning to her alma mater as Principal at Lincoln-Gavin School, replacing Cara Pastere, who retired in July. She has worked in the district as Assistant Principal at Washington-McKinley School, as a STEM (Science, Technology, Math, Engineering) and classroom teacher, and as a Science and Technology Instructional Coach. She also has led weekly technology professional development sessions and participated in the science textbook committee and leadership teams.
Rodriguez, appointed Assistant Principal at Roosevelt School, has worked as a classroom teacher, ESL teacher, and district EL coordinator. She served as an Instructional coach at Washington-McKinley School and as a member of BPAC (Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee), lesson plan writing, curriculum assessment and writing, and science curriculum adoption committees. She also facilitated PLC and professional development activities district-wide.
Wells will serve as Assistant Principal at the CHMS. She most recently held the position of Instructional Coach at SD170's Grant and Jefferson Schools after teaching for 11 years at Washington- McKinley School. She also served on various curriculum and textbook committees, the district's Math Lead Team, and as a district PLC Facilitator.
Franklin will be the Dean at Washington-McKinley School. She brings to her new position a wealth of experience including a tenure as Dean of Students at Park Forest Chicago Heights School District 163, and as an English-Language Arts teacher at Ford Heights School District 169.
Nash has been appointed to the position of Dean at the CHMS. A 22-year veteran of Dolton West School District 148, she was a teacher for 16-years and for the past six-years she was the CARE (Corrective and Responsible Education) Facilitator and implemented Restorative Justice as a form of student discipline.
"We are very excited to welcome Chris, Caleb, Safiyah, Tricia, Jennifer, Cheryl, and Shawnell to their new administrative roles," said Superintendent Tom Amadio.
"Their talent, knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment will ensure the continuation of the proud tradition of offering the students of our district a superb and safe learning experience."