Marguerite F. Key Fellows Program

Unlocking potential in our students by recognizing innovations that advance college access and success.

Imagine the possibilities if every city, town and school district across Illinois and the upper Midwest provided thriving academic environments – from preschool through high school – that encourage and support students in the pursuit and completion of higher education. Imagine how these communities would flourish through tapping into the shared wisdom and new ideas of professional educators and others dedicated to identifying creative ways to foster such a culture.

The NIU Marguerite F. Key Fellows Program is focused on promoting the long-term growth and vitality of these places and people by gathering and intellectually challenging principals who have worked to enrich the promising lives of college-aspiring students and their families.

Each Key Fellows class of will consist of up to 12 principals from schools within the region. These principals will represent the leading voices in energetic and creative program delivery across northern Illinois. Each class of Fellows participates in an institute during the year in which they are selected. Each institute will provide information and training, but focus primarily on providing Fellows with the opportunity to examine the "state of the state" – sharing information and leveraging the creativity and expertise in the room to further propel their local efforts.

Working with one another, NIU faculty, students and invited guests we will network, share existing programming ideas and collaboratively identify opportunities for growth and improvement in schools across the state of Illinois. In addition to being presented information on the state of progress toward full educational opportunity in Illinois, Fellows will be at the forefront of discussions advancing the cause and will be able to leverage this dynamic event to energize their future efforts on behalf of Illinois children.

Marguerite F. Key Fellows will qualify for $1,000 stipends, which can be taken personally or applied programmatically as an investment in the success of the next generation of leadership in the state.

Fellows Class of 2021

Francisco Borras, principal
Spry Community Links High School, Chicago

Kelly Neylon, principal
Meadowview Elementary School, Woodridge

Kathleen Schipper, principal
River Bend Middle School, Fulton

Annette Coleman, principal
Peoria High School, Peoria

Amonaquenette Parker, principal
Huntley Middle School, DeKalb

Monica Spence, assistant superintendent of Student Services
Posen-Robbins School District 143.5, Posen

Emily Feltes, principal
North Grand High School, Chicago

Kathleen Porreca, principal
Regina Dominican High School, Wilmette

Jason Stipp, principal
Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora

Fellows Class of 2019

Brett Elliott, principal
Richwoods High School
Peoria, IL

Courtney Goodman, principal
John Middleton Elementary School
Skokie, IL

Kathy Rodriguez, principal
Charter Oak Primary School
Peoria, IL

Kiwana Sanders, principal
Nathan Hale Middle School
Blue Island, IL

Jeff Wardle, principal
Buffalo Grove High School
Buffalo Grove, IL

Stuart Wrzesinski, principal
Palos South Middle School
Palos Park, IL

Fellows Class of 2018

Rachel Bednar, principal
Edison Middle School
Wheaton, IL

Jay Brickman, principal
Hinckley-Big Rock High School
Hinckley, IL

Patrick Hardy, principal
Proviso East High School
Maywood, IL

Debra Klein, principal
Emerson Elementary School
Wheaton, IL

Katie Matthews, principal
Grove Avenue Elementary School
Barrington, IL

Chris Tennyson, principal
Fulton High School
Fulton, IL

Marguerite F. Key Fellows Program Advisory Board

Alan Clemens

Dan Oest

Carolyn Pluim (Vander Schee)

James Surber

Rebecca Surber

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Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations
Graham 223
DeKalb, IL 60115

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