CICS is a K-8 public charter school nestled in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Their school boasts a dedicated staff that prides itself on forming close relationships with parents and the surrounding community. This is why their Principal, Rachael Beucher, has a strong focus on empowering her students academically and socially.
Rachael has a real passion for growing and learning. Her journey with CICS started in the classroom where she honed in on strong instructional practices while fostering relationships with her students and their families.
1. Why did you decide to become a principal?
Teaching has always been a passion of mine since I was a young child because I come from a family of educators. I have a passion for learning - especially in the reading and writing disciplines! After being a teacher, I was able to grow into my own practices and eventually be a mentor and instructional coach. It was in that latter role that I wanted to grow even more and help teachers become better leaders for greater student achievement-which is why went back to school for my administration and supervision degree.
2. What is one thing you are looking forward to in the new school year?
Working with our community partners to provide more opportunities for our students and families.
3. What is one skill that you have that makes you a great principal?
I am ALL in! I am hands-on! I frequently jump into the classroom to support, teach, or sub.
4. Name something that you are proud of on or about your campus.
The lengths educators will go to support kids no matter what.
5. How do you make positive connections with your students?
By building relationships with them. By getting to know who they are and talking to them to see what they need and also by recognizing them for celebrations!
6. How are you making those connections now?
Being present in the classroom, knowing what students are working on, visiting them during recess, having lunch with them and hosting feedback groups.
7. What is your vision for student success this year?
For students to grow not only academically but socially and emotionally – they have a lot of experiences and with COVID-19, they need more learning and love in these areas. These learning experiences will help them grow, help their achievement/success.
8. Education is ever-evolving. If money / resources / time were not an issue, what would you do to improve your school?
Construct a new building with a gym that would allow students to get proper fitness and more learning experiences such as having a larger STEAM and Music lab as well as a greenhouse. Also, having a cafeteria. We need more space for small groups (CLD & DL students, RSPs, etc. ). So overall a new building with more room or an addition to the building we have to accommodate more learning!
My name is Rachael Beucher. I am the Principal of CICS Prairie, a K-8th school in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago. Within my career with Distinctive Schools, I have been a Middle School English & History Teacher, Mentor Teacher, Instructional Coach, Curriculum Lead, Assistant Principal and most recently Principal. I love continuing to grow and learn and challenge myself to know more and do better for my staff and students as well as myself. My ultimate goal as a school leader is to help teachers grow and personalize learning for all students so they can get what they need to succeed. For self-care, I love to take my 2 labs for walks to clear my mind, read, and travel when possible!