Greetings Sandridge Elementary School District 172 Community,

    It is an honor and a privilege to have been appointed as the principal of Sandridge Elementary School District 172 for the 2023-2024 school year. I’m excited to work with the faculty, staff, families, community and students as we co-create a new path with laser focus on academic growth and character development. 


    I was born on the southside of Chicago to two wonderful and loving parents. I am the youngest child with three older siblings. At a young age, my family moved to Matteson, IL and stayed until I graduated from Rich South High School. In high school, I was an honor student and very active in most clubs and activities. I was afforded many leadership opportunities, such as planning student activities, speaking at community events, and participating in volunteering opportunities. 


    At graduation, I received three scholarships, one of which was a full academic scholarship to Alabama A&M University. I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in secondary education with a biology concentration. Upon my graduation I received my teaching license in Alabama, Tennessee,and Georgia, however my drive to come home to educate students that had my similar upbringing led me back to Illinois. I worked for O.W. Huth for two years, before I planted roots in Sandridge Elementary as a science teacher. 


    I have served in many positions at Sandridge in my 13 year tenure: Science Department Chair, Strategic Planning Committee member, Junior High Team Leader, Walk Through member, PBIS facilitator, Curricular Mapping team, and the School Improvement team. While serving as science teacher, I have added to my life a beautiful daughter. Being a mother is the most significant accomplishment  in my life. As your principal, I will advocate for your children as if they are my own. I earned my Masters of Education Administration in the spring of 2013. During my career I have been committed to establishing classrooms, affirming students, and offering support to my colleagues. 


    In October, I was appointed Assistant Principal. It has been among my proudest moments as a classroom teacher to be recognized in such a way from a school and community that I truly love. Since being in my position, I have lead a school wide Hour of Code initiative, helped to build a restorative discipline program, initiated a Student of the Month recognition program, lead the after school programming, and entered Sandridge into the Illinois Elementary School Association which will allow our students to compete on a higher level with the neighboring school in athletics and extracurricular contests. 


    As a leader focused on student growth, I believe in working together for the benefit of our students and community. I am eager to collaborate with staff, students, parents, and other community members to build strong foundations and academic success. I strongly believe in nurturing relationships, open communication and the power of education. I welcome your conversation and input throughout the year. Our positive partnership will help our students grow into 21st century learners. In the upcoming weeks, you will receive information regarding the opening of school and opportunities to meet me directly.


    I am grateful to Superintendent Dr. Kim Nalls and the Sandridge Elementary School District 172.Board of Education for this incredible opportunity. I look forward to this next chapter and everything that we are going to build together. Please feel free to contact me at kpolk@sandridgesd172.net with any ideas, questions or concerns. Go Wildcats!!!



    Ms. Kalea Polk


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