BUCKTOWN— After a six month search for a permanent principal, members of Pulaski International Baccalaureate School's search committee introduced parents to the Bucktown school's just-hired leader Monday.
Arlana Bedard, 45, will lead Pulaski International School effective Jan. 3, 2013.
The seasoned educator will succeed Pat Baccillieri, who resigned at the close of the 2011-12 school year just two years after the public school made a transition from a fine arts academy to an Accelerated International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
Pulaski, 2230 W. McLean Ave., attracts students through its IB learners' track and gifted bilingual language program.
Bedard, a Chicago native, started her career 21 years ago as a sixth-grade teacher in Long Beach, Calif., and has prior experience teaching IB curriculum. She comes to Bucktown from DeVry Advantage Academy High School where she served as its principal for the past three years.
Prior to the academy, which is a CPS high school for juniors and seniors that operates on the campus of the for-profit DeVry University in Roscoe Village, Bedard taught at two Chicago Public School high schools and worked in the CPS central office as an administrator for three years.
"I've loved my experience at at Advantage Academy, though I thought it was time to venture back to the elementary level," Bedard said.
Interim "administrator-in-charge" Lillian Gonzalez, who's been at the helm of Pulaski since mid-October, will remain at the school until the transition takes place, said Myra Diaz, Pulaski school clerk and the LSC's staff representative.
"Everyone is really excited and looking forward to working" with Bedard, said Diaz.
Sarah Harris, a parent of two Pulaski children who works part-time at the school and participated in the LSC's 20-member Principal Search Committee, said she's "thrilled" with Bedard.
"She's easy to talk to, interested in what we have to say. Her resume attracted us because she's taught kids, run big schools and knows how the game runs downtown," said Harris.