LAKEVIEW EAST — The Nettelhorst School has a familiar face in its new principal.
Yasmeen Muhammad-Leonard has been serving as interim principal since July, and on Friday, the Local School Council offered her the permanent job.
Prior to filling the role in an interim capacity, Muhammad-Leonard was the resident principal for the 2014-15 school year.
As the interim and resident principal at Nettelhorst, Muhammad-Leonard touted her students' double-digit gains in winter reading and math testing and her strategic work juggling the district's mid-year budget cuts without losing instructional programming or staff.
She also created the Stallion Ambassador student group and restructured the in-school suspension and supervised recess programs. This year, she negotiated a $10,000 reduction for the recess provider and restructured the budget to gain an additional teacher and paraprofessional staff member.
"I offer to the school community a diverse instructional background and pledge to promote the shared values and beliefs of the Nettelhorst school community and its whole-child development approach," she said in a statement.
Muhammad-Leonard was among four finalists selected among a dozen applicants. Gary Norcross, assistant principal at Blaine Elementary School, withdrew his application at the last minute, leaving Heather Connolly and Jennifer Dixon as two remaining finalists.
Prior to her time at Nettelhorst, Muhammad-Leonard was a case manager at Tanner Elementary in Chatham. She has a master's degree in special education and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Chicago State University.
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