Abbey Cullen works as Dean of Operations at Chicago High School for the Arts. Her tasks include facility management, teacher evaluations, and professional development for teaching staff. Abbey credits Professor Hoecker’s classes for shaping her leadership philosophy. From his classes, she learned to lead with her moral compass, which guides and balances her decisions.
As an educational leader, she loves being able to continue teaching, although in a different context. She enjoys guiding other teachers and encouraging them to be a part of the learning community. “Leading by example” is one of her goals, and she strives to set an example to demonstrate the kind of school and community the administrative side is seeking.
Abbey’s advice to new administrators is to trust in your background and experience and to be confident that you are prepared for making the best decisions for the school. She encourages current students to gain as much experience as possible during internship. She shares, “Just be ready to get your feet wet and try a little bit of everything. It is important to expose yourself to all of the administrative tasks as there is so much more than what you think about as a teacher.”