School District 64 announced the selection of Mrs. Samantha Alaimo to be the first Associate Principal of Emerson Middle School. Mrs. Alaimo’s appointment was confirmed by the Board of Education at its August 7, 2018 special meeting.
Earlier this spring, the Board approved the addition of a third administrator to the school, which has experienced significant enrollment growth and is District 64’s largest building. She will work alongside Principal Jim Morrison and Assistant Principal Tim Benka in providing oversight for close to 900 students and 100 staff members.
A current Emerson teacher, Mrs. Alaimo has taught sixth grade Language Arts and mathematics in the Channels of Challenge program for two years.
“As a dynamic educator who is also well known to Emerson students, Mrs. Alaimo is already a dedicated member of the Emerson community and will be a great fit for this new leadership position,” according to Superintendent Laurie Heinz.
“She has a thorough understanding of our D64 and Emerson mission focusing on the growth of every child, which includes expanded social emotional learning, integrating restorative approaches into daily practice, and working closely with staff and parents to support our students,” Dr. Heinz added. “Because her career has been focused exclusively on the unique needs of young adolescents, she truly understands how to challenge and empower this age group as learners and engaged young citizens,” Dr. Heinz noted.
In addition, Mrs. Alaimo is a member of District 64’s Middle School Review Committee, which is exploring potential updates to the middle school program and schedule.
Before joining District 64, Mrs. Alaimo served for five years as a grades 6-8 mathematics and language arts teacher at Laura Ward STEM Elementary School in Chicago, where she was praised as being an instructional leader for her colleagues as well as assuming responsibility for organizing extra-curricular activities and service opportunities for students.
A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mrs. Alaimo has a master’s degree from Concordia University, where she is also pursuing her doctorate.
Mrs. Alaimo was selected following an intensive review process from an initial pool of 101 applicants. Paper and phone screenings yielded three semi-finalists, who were interviewed by Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Joel Martin, Emerson Principal Jim Morrison and Dr. Heinz. These semi-finalists were also interviewed by a committee of District and middle school administrators. Two finalists then met with a committee of administrators and five middle school staff members before Dr. Heinz selected Mrs. Alaimo for the newly created post.