Meet Laura Jack, Assistant Principal
I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself, my educational and professional experiences, and what makes Barbara Vick such a special place to be.
I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago-the child of two educators. Growing up, the importance of education was taught and instilled in my two brothers and me. We were told very young that education will provide us with opportunities and that without it, we would not have those same opportunities. As much as I got sick of their nagging, I of course grew up and realized that Mom and Dad were right (as one usually does realize!).
I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Marquette University. I majored in Advertising and minored in Marketing-a world apart from education. However, during my summers off I was always working with children; as a day camp counselor, nanny, tutor, and an in-demand babysitter. After working in the world of advertising for a brief moment in time, I realized that my true passion was working in education. In 2003 I decided to return to school and get my Master’s Degree in Special Education.
I received my Masters of Arts in Special Education from National Louis University. After graduating I began my teaching career with the Chicago Public Schools at a wonderful elementary school-Gallistel Language Academy. It was there that I learned how to work as an educational team member; supporting elementary students with cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities. Working with Special Education students was not only the most gratifying work, but also my life-long passion.
After teaching Special Education for a few years at Gallistel Language Academy, my husband and I decided to take a break from the brutal Chicago winters and moved west to Los Angeles, California. We spent seven years in California where we had our two beautiful children-Ramona (5) and Maximilian (8 months). Becoming a mother has changed who I am in every way. It changed how I taught, spoke to children, and I began to empathize with fellow parents; gaining a new understanding about the joys and challenges that parenthood brings.
While in California, I taught Special Education for five years at the early childhood, elementary, and high school levels in Burbank, California while earning a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. After completing my Master’s Degree, I worked as a Special Education Administrator at the district level and Assistive Technology Specialist-leading and overseeing the district’s Assistive Technology department. My work focused on inclusive practices for Special Education students, student assessment and Individual Educational Plan (IEP) development, and curriculum planning for diverse learners ranging in age from birth-22 years old.
After the birth of our son, Max, and realizing we will never find a great pizza or a proper Chicago style dog, we decided to come home to Chicago-the greatest city in the world. And we could not be happier to be back!
My personal, educational, and professional experiences have taught me that each child is unique and has the potential to grow and learn. To have the opportunity to work in education, we have the unique challenge and luxury of unlocking each child’s potential by guiding them, finding the appropriate supports, and instilling the passion of learning in them. Allowing a child to have early learning experiences supports them in their intellectual and social development.
I accepted the position of Assistant Principal at Barbara Vick in November of 2017. I am grateful every day to be a part of such an incredible school and look forward to the responsibility of carrying out our vision and philosophy with Principal Amy O’Connor and the staff at Barbara Vick. The staff, students, parents, and community are what makes Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center and Vick Village integral parts of the Chicago Public School district and the communities in which they serve. Working together, I believe that we can develop and educate these young students by providing experiences which will support their growth and learning; laying the foundation for authentic learning and inspiring them to become curious, life-long learners.
I hope to have the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with you and to collaborate so that we can continue on our path to making Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center and Vick Village the enriching and nurturing early childhood centers that they are.