Jola Dziatkowiec was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was seven. The third of four children (two boys and two girls) born to loving parents who raised their family on Chicago’s Southwest Side, she began learning English Language (EL) in third grade while attending the Chicago Public Schools.
Ms. Dziatkowiec was recently named the new principal at Dorn School in Hickory Hills. She replaces popular longtime principal Dr. Eileen McCaffrey who retired this year.
“I am honored to become the next principal at Dorn School and am excited to get to know people there and build relationships,” Ms.
Dziatkowiec said. "The primary building is where the foundational skills happen. I want to be part of developing students at their most vulnerable stage in life. I want to support teachers so they can develop students.”
She said her first year as principal will be “learning what makes Dorn as amazing as it is.” She said she has had several meetings with Eileen and (Sorrick Principal) Natalie (Profita) and they have been extremely helpful in making the transition smooth. She said she met with the Dorn staff and they have been “incredibly welcoming.”
Ms. Dziatkowiec said her parents stressed the importance of learning English at a young age. “Our parents wanted us to learn English so we would be successful in life,” she said. “They also wanted us to learn English so we could help them learn the new language.”
She said learning the language was made easier since “all our siblings were learning it together and we were talking to each other in English.”
Ms. Dziatkowiec graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Chicago and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from St. Xavier University and her Masters’ Degree in a Specialized Endorsement which encompassed LBS1 and ESL from National Louis University in Chicago. She also passed her Polish Bilingual Test that allows her to use her native language in instruction. Ms. Dziatkowiec also received her Masters’ Degree in Education Leadership last Fall.
Growing up on a farm in Poland, Ms. Dziatkowiec said she and her siblings “always played school.”
“Coming to a new country, I wanted to become a teacher to give students the programs and support needed to assist with language development,” she said. “One of the many things I love about NPD117 is its diverse culture and all the programs and opportunities students have here to be successful.”
Ms. Dziatkowiec began her teaching career as a classroom teacher in CPS where she stayed for four years. She then spent two years as a Polish Bilingual EL teacher at Glen Oaks School in Hickory Hills.
Her leadership talents were recognized early and she spent three years as an EL Team Leader at Oak Ridge School where she said she was responsible for making sure the curriculum met the diverse needs of all learners and that accommodations, if needed, were provided for the district’s EL learners to succeed in General Education classrooms.
Ms. Dziatkowiec said she helped create interventions for English Learners in a framework to support their diverse needs. She also spent time as the Summer School Coordinator.
She said she loves spending time with family, especially her three nieces and one nephew. She said she also enjoys walking and hiking in nature. She said she likes reading all genres and said she also enjoys cooking.