North Chicago school building

North Chicago School District 187

Strengthening Teaching

North Chicago District 187 has partnered with Leading Educators since 2017 to help educators develop excellent instructional practice at the K-5 grade level so all students are prepared academically and socially to pursue and realize their unique purpose.

About the Partnership

North Chicago District 187 is determined to prepare each child, academically and socially, to pursue and realize their unique purpose. Likewise, leaders are committed to continuous improvement to provide high-quality programs driven by students’ needs. That includes providing training and support for teachers and staff to be effective and ensure learning spaces enable student success.  

To build on existing strengths, leaders in North Chicago schools agree that there is still room to grow. 


On the 2022 state report card, only 13.2% of students were proficient in ELA, and 7.4% were proficient in math.  

At the school level, curriculum-based planning has been a challenge. Teachers need more consistent support and structures to internalize and pre-plan with the curriculum so they can use quality materials effectively. Leaders say that previous professional development tied to the curriculum from outside vendors could have been better and more frequent.


North Chicago has adopted a new high-quality K-5 ELA curriculum and has established multi-tiered support for students who are not yet performing at grade level. Leading Educators is helping the district ensure teachers get the planning time needed to consistently plan and internalize the curriculum content.North Chicago District 187 theory of action for student success

Previously, LE supported curriculum implementation by working with curriculum vendors to develop curriculum checklists for district coaches and guide district leadership through change management.

This Year: Supporting Ongoing Professional Learning

Leading Educators is leading North Chicago educators through ongoing learning cycles for ELA and math at their schools.

These learning cycles include shared content learning sessions, learning walks, instructional leadership team(ILT) support, and district instructional leadership stepbacks. We’re also developing teacher leaders to lead Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Leading Educators has created and defined a professional learning guidebook to inform system-level supports.

North Chicago teacher and students in classroom
What Our Partners Gain

Gaining clarity on curriculum expectations and the systems needed to support its implementation effectively, including sufficient time allocation.

Learning Infrastructure

Creating structures for collaborative support, such as recurring, curriculum-based professional learning and distributive instructional leadership.

Shared Ownership

Building an understanding of instructional methods that encourage students to take ownership of their thinking and learning.


Developing a comprehensive understanding of all curriculum components and their alignment with best practices among teachers and coaches.

Partnership By The Numbers

Icon of a student reading a book

1,101 Students

being prepared to succeed in school and in life

Overhead view of teachers sitting around a round table

132 Teachers

engaged in curriculum-aligned professional learning to develop deep content knowledge in math and ELA


9 Leaders and District Coaches

supported to build coaches’ content knowledge and strong coaching practices

Meet The Team

Our team of experienced classroom educators, former school and system leaders, content and coaching experts, and fearless advocates work shoulder-to-shoulder with North Chicago educators to go further faster.

Claudine Andrews

Senior Director of Programming
Claudine is the Senior Director of Programming working with district, school and teacher leaders to ensure that schools and system partnerships are effectively supported.
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LeAnita Garner

Director of Content & Coaching
LeAnita is a partner to school teams within Chicago Public Schools, who uses her experiences in and out of the classroom to support them in working toward educational equity.
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Tori McGowan

Director of Content
Tori is a Director of Content with Leading Educators. She supports school leaders and teachers in the Chicago area.
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Shondele Gillens-Vazquez

Instructional Leadership Coach, Chicago
Shondele Gillens-Vazquez is an Instructional Leadership coach who supports leaders in North Chicago.
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Morgan Qin

Instructional Leadership Coach, Math
Morgan Qin is an Instructional Leadership Coach – Math for the Chicago team.
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Danielle Parker

Associate Director of Networks
Danielle Parker is the Associate Director of Networks for Chicago-based partnerships.
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Claudine Andrews

LeAnita Garner

Tori McGowan

Shondele Gillens-Vazquez

Morgan Qin

Danielle Parker

Learn About Other Partnerships

North Chicago Public Schools is  one of a dozen partnerships across the country that are pushing the boundaries of what schools can offer students. Learn more about how we customize our supports to meet the needs and strengths of visionary districts.

Meet Our Partners
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