Marguerite F. Key Fellows Program

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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 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

Contact Us

Marguerite F. Key Fellows Program Advisory Board

Alan Clemens
aclemens@niu.edu

Dan Oest
doest@niu.edu

Carolyn Pluim (Vander Schee)
cvanders@niu.edu

James Surber
jsurber@niu.edu

Rebecca Surber
rsurber@niu.edu

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