Principal’s Newsletter: Summer Updates 8.26.17

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Principal’s Newsletter: Summer Updates

There is still time to make the most of your summer days. I’ve always felt there is no better place than Chicago in the summer. Hope you can enjoy the weather before school starts.

I am happy to announce some new additions to our Decatur community.

Elizabeth Busch is our new inclusion teacher.
Elizabeth is joining the Decatur community after teaching for 12 years at Hamilton Elementary School. Elizabeth received her Bachelors from Michigan State University and her Masters in Education at DePaul University. While at Hamilton she worked in both the special and general education settings. She also worked as a co-chair of the Social Emotional Committee on the Instructional Leadership Team. She has also led several service based after school programs that focused on giving back to those in need. Elizabeth believes in bringing fun and joy to the learning environment and is eager to share this with the Decatur community.
Samantha Quershi accepted the physical education position.
Samantha Qureshi is originally from New York, previously teaching K-8 Physical Education at PS/IS 276 in Battery Park City. During her time in Battery Park she spearheaded the middle school Health curriculum, to motivate students to improve and maintain their overall health. She also coached soccer and track where her middle school teams won the NYC Championships. Before teaching at PS/IS 276, she coached soccer and track at the varsity level on Long Island and taught Adapted Physical Education at a private school for children with autism. She received her Bachelors at Towson University in Maryland while playing Division 1 soccer and her Masters from Touro College in New York City. Samantha is excited to begin at Decatur and to get to know the school community!

In my search for a new assistant principal, it was important for me to find someone who is dedicated to students, is passionate about instruction, and someone who could commit to our community. After a long search, I decided to hire Chelsea Branch as our Administrative/Program Coordinator. Rather than hiring an AP, Ms. Branch will fill the dual role of teacher and program coordinator. She will work with me to support teachers, lead our Social Emotional Learning, and assist with the implementation of new programming at Decatur.

Chelsea Branch is an educator who comes to Decatur from Hamilton Elementary School. During her five years at Hamilton, she designed and implemented a PK-8 dance curriculum centered around National Arts Standards that created opportunities for student creativity and voices. Chelsea worked closely with classroom teachers to build arts integrated units in literacy, math, and science. Additionally, she assisted in leading SEL initiatives that greatly improved the climate and culture for students. Mindfulness is a core value in Chelsea’s work with students and she was trained by Mindful Schools. Chelsea is passionate about sharing yoga and is certified in Yoga Calm, Rainbow Kids Yoga, and became a RYT 200 yoga teacher through Marianne Wells Yoga School. Chelsea is looking forward to working with all of the staff at Decatur in the coming weeks.

Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth, Samantha, and Chelsea to our school!

We are almost done hiring and we will have final updates for back to school procedures, parent handbook, etc. next week. If you have received this email in error, please click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of this newsletter.
Enjoy your week!
P.S. If you need to be added to our contact list, please email me at

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