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 Constance Lane Elementary is Vibrant Community Hub

10/8/2019 12:00 AM

​I've left school more than once already this year with tears in my eyes as I make my way home at the end of the day. I see bicycles lined up along the playground fence at Constance Lane Elementary School while kids are having fun on the playground. They're playing with friends, brothers, sisters and parents. They're enjoying their neighborhood school playground. They feel safe and welcome, and they want to spend their free time at school. That's what gets me.

Kishwaukee Elementary School was a beautiful building that served students for more than 100 years. But it was a brick fortress that wasn't inviting. Now Constance Lane Elementary School stands where Kishwaukee once was. It's warm and welcoming. It's colorful. It's a magnet for this neighborhood and shows what a vibrant community hub can look like.

The school is named for Constance Renick Lane. She was the district's first black teacher and served as an educator and administrator for more than 30 years. I want our school to carry on her legacy as a teacher, administrator and role model. We can do this by working hard to achieve our dreams, even when the task seems impossible. We can do this by modeling kindness and love in all we do. And we can do this by holding ourselves and others to high expectations at all times. 

Many of my students came to Constance Lane Elementary for the first time during our back-to-school night, following the community tour. I won't forget the looks on their faces – with wide eyes and smiles, mouths open in awe. It's fabulous for my students to have something that's state of the art and brand new. It's exciting for my students' parents and families, too. I paid special attention to comments from parents at back-to-school night. They told their kids how school for them didn't look like this, and that they're lucky to be a student here.

Well, I'm lucky to be their principal, and I share their excitement for school. They can see that this is a great place to learn. I am so looking forward to the rest of this school year and sharing this school with students for years to come. #WeAreLane

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