Alumni Profile: Cammy Czarnik
As a college preparatory educator, Cammy Czarnik shares the goal of turning out “successful” students that are ready to face their future with confidence and skill. Her desire to help her students find success—no matter what their definition of that word would be—led her to seek out a wide range of resources to help her teach and lead more effectively.
“I enrolled in the North Park University school administrator preparatory program (then the Type 75 program) in order to expand my understanding of success, learn the best tools for success, and discover methods to guide students and staff in the use of these tools,” she says. “I specifically chose North Park because their program resonated success. Having such a successful dean of the School of Education, Dr. Rebecca Nelson, heading the program, I had no doubt that the program itself would lead me to nothing other than success.”
North Park and the Type 75 program, the precursor to the new master’s in educational leadership (MAEL) program, prepared Cammy for success in many ways. As dean of high school and dean of instruction at The Willows Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois, she credits the University for helping her to become more visionary, which has both motivated her in her job and given her “the roadmap” to where her position needs to go.
“The very first lesson taught to me in Educational Leadership was the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards of leadership—the first standard being, ‘A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community,’” Cammy says.
She applies this lesson to her job everyday, supporting the school and its leadership by working closely with faculty, parents, and students, and developing plans to meet the academic, physical, psychological, and social needs of the high school. She also mentors and supervises teachers and promotes personal excellence.
Likening the idea of leadership to being in “GPS mode,” Cammy found North Park’s program helped her make decisions and take actions that are directed toward the vision and mission of the school. “A school’s vision is the compass pointing a leader in the direction of best practices,” she says. “The program at North Park intertwines this theme of vision into each course, guaranteeing that each student will walk away with the most crucial and useful ‘GPS’ tool for educational leadership. North Park helped me recalibrate my leadership in the sense that it pointed me in the right direction to do my job well.”