Phyllis Cavallone-Jurek

When Phyllis Cavallone-Jurek became principal of St. Therese Chinese Catholic School thirteen years ago, she faced a school on the brink of failure, plagued by debt, structural issues and an exodus of student families. Now, through her fierce determination and visionary leadership, St. Therese is a flourishing Blue Ribbon School, possessing a sizeable waiting list and sending graduates on to the best Chicago high schools. Cavallone-Jurek has transformed the school’s learning community by participating in educator exchanges with international schools in England, Singapore, South Korea, and more, and by providing intensive professional development programs for teachers and targeted, differentiated instruction interventions for students. Cavallone-Jurek is dedicated to expanding religious instruction and spiritual community at the school, and counts mindful technology integration, research-based and data-driven methodology, and student service learning as professional best practices. Viewing the school community as a “patchwork family” that is strengthened by the fabrics of many cultures and backgrounds, Cavallone-Jurek remains committed to her belief in nurturing the academic achievement and spiritual growth of students and staff alike by celebrating diversity and cultural identity at this unique school. Cavallone-Jurek has been an adjunct instructor at Loyola and Saint Xavier University. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Mathematics from Saint Xavier University, an M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Roosevelt University, and a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.