We have a new principal


The Local School Council is delighted to announce the selection of Dr. Diego Giraldo as the next principal of Inter-American Magnet School. Dr. Giraldo’s leadership and extensive experience and commitment to dual language are what distinguished him as a candidate and convinced our diverse community that he was the perfect leader for our school. His personal and career paths are reflective of the core values of Inter-American and we know that under his leadership our school will live its commitment to community and education honoring the integrity of both languages and our multi-cultural experiences. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Giraldo and thanking Dr. Vallez for her service to Inter-American Magnet School over the last four years.

Job Posting | Timeline | Community Letter | Updates | Survey


June 7, 2013: The Local School Council/Principal Selection Committee is delighted to announce that we have identified two candidates -- Dr. Diego Giraldo and Lissette Rua -- to advance to the Principal Forum, on Wednesday, June 12, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, in the school auditorium. You are encouraged to submit questions to be posed to the finalists at the forum. Read the complete forum invitation here.

May 22, 2013: The selection process is proceeding smoothly, and the principal forum date where we present finalists to the school community is now June 12, 2013 at 6 pm, with a vote scheduled to take place at a special meeting the following day, June 13 at 6pm. Our goal is to select a superior instructional leader for our school who is ready to start a four-year contract on July 1, 2013.  

May 12, 2013: After extending our application deadline to April 30th we received 16 applicant resumes.  We met as a committee and using our resume rubric and guided by the parent and teacher survey feedback, we have selected 7 candidates to move on to the first round of interviews which we will be conducting in the next few weeks. We are moving along following our timeline. Please save the date of Tuesday, June 18 June 12 at 6pm in our school auditorium for our candidate forum where we will present to you our final candidates!

April 23, 2013: Parent Rony Reyes was selected to serve on the Inter-American LSC. Read his candidate statement here. The co-chairs of the Principal Selection Committee are Fran Feeley (teacher) and Marisol Morales (parent). Ana Camino is acting chair of the LSC. 

March 24, 2013: The Inter-American Local School Council (LSC) is seeking a parent representative as non one applied by the previous deadline. The LSC is a site-based management team composed of teachers, parents and community members. Some of the responsibilities of the members include: oversight of the school’s budget and  the school improvement plan; montly meetings; principal selection, evaluation, and retention. Participation on the LSC requires 12 hours of CPS training and is a two-year commitment. The current members of the LSC will appoint a new parent representative from the pool of applicants. If you are interested please complete an application form at the main office or call (773-534-5490) to request that one be sent home with your child or sent to you by e-mail. The deadline for submitting an application is April 12, 2013 (3 pm). If you know of any outstanding administrators, please encourage them to apply! The LSC is eager to select a principal from a wide range of talented administrators. Information about this exciting professional opportunity can be found on this page

February 19, 2013: The timeline for principal selection is being extended approximately one month to attract more candidates and solicit more input from the community. Read the letterfrom outgoing chair Karen Barbour. The new deadline for applicants is March 29, 2013, although there is an internal CPS deadline of March 11 to be part of the next cohort to go through the district's principal eligibility process. The new deadline for parent surveys is April 17, 2013 (Report card pickup day). The new deadline for teacher surveys is March 6, 2013. A workgroup is developing a community survey. A new timeline will be developed and approved by the March LSC meeting. Also, there will be an LSC vacancy for a parent representative. Responsibilities of the LSC are oversight of the budget, school improvement plan and principal review/retention/selection. This is especially important this year as we work together to recruit a new principal. Forms to apply will be available in the office, can be downloaded here, and handed out in the carpetas. If you're interested and can invest the time to perform this important role, please complete the form and turn in to Rosario in the office. A decision is scheduled to be made at the March 19 LSC meeting at 6 p.m. in the library. 

February 6, 2013: As part of our search for a new principal at Inter-American Magnet School, we would like to collect information prior to conducting candidate interviews. We are asking both teachers and parents to share the skill sets and characteristics that they would like to see in the next IAMS’ leader. In order to collect this information, we will be using an online survey. We are also going to make this survey available on paper so that it is more accessible to all. The results of this survey will help to inform our decisions as we move through this rigorous process. 
We encourage you to take a few moments before February 22 to complete the survey online (preferred) or a paper copy that will be sent home in your student’s carpeta. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this survey or the process of selecting IAMS’ new principal, please contact one of the Principal Selection Committee(PSC)’s co-chairs.

Jan. 23, 2013: A tentative timeline, job posting and letter to the community have been distributed and published on the web. There will be a community meeting, Feb. 6, 2013 (6-7:30 p.m.) to discuss the timeline and answer questions. Childcare for IAMS students will be available.




December 11, 2012

(regular meeting)

Creation of PSC, charge workgroups with creation of advertisement, communication process and timeline

January 15, 2013

(regular meeting)

Approve timeline, ad and communication procedures; charge workgroups for resume and interviews

End of January

(dependent on CPS)

Ad to begin running with a deadline of February 22, 2013

February 6, 2013

Community Informational Meeting regarding the Principal Selection Process

February 19

(regular meeting)

Approve resume and interview procedures; charge workgroup for reference checks

By March 8, 2013

Surveys to be distributed to parents and staff

March 29

First submission deadline for candidates; Surveys close

April 1

Reposting application submission

April 23
(regular meeting)

Approve 1st round interview questions procedures, approve timeline. Charge workgroups to develop 2nd round interview, site visit reference check procedures and plan the forum to report survey results. 

April 29

Submission deadline for second reposting candidates

April 24-May 6

LSC members work independently to review resumes

May 6 - 6pm library

(special meeting)


Vote to approve candidates of all postings for 1st round interviews (goal 7-10); vote approval of site visit procedures and approve reference check procedures; Work on second round interview procedures

May 10-17

First round interviews

May 17

Vote to approve 2nd round candidates

May 20

Work group finalizes 2nd round interview procedures

May 21 (regular meeting)

Vote to approve 2nd round interview questions and procedures;

May 31, June 1

Second round interviews PSC meeting

May 21-June 1

Conduct reference checks 2nd round candidates; finalize forum procedures and communications with community

June 1

Special LSC Meeting to select finalists; vote to approve forum procedures and communications with community

June 1-June 11

Conduct site visits

June 12 6 pm

Public forum for finalists and meeting with teachers. Input from community.

June 13 6 pm

Special LSC Meeting to Vote for Contract Principal

June 19

(regular meeting)

June Regular LSC Meeting


Community Letter

January 23, 2013

Dear IAMS Community,

We have recently begun the important process of selecting a new principal for the next four years.

Every elected member of your Local School Council is committed and dedicated to seeking the best qualified candidate in an effort to meet the unique needs of our dual language program and the cultural richness of our community.

Although it has been only four months since we began our 2012-13 school year, we have experienced loss and turmoil that is uncommon for a given year. Despite the difficulty this has caused us, in these times our community has also had the opportunity to reflect on the past and think deeply about the future of our school. As we begin the new principal selection process, the LSC aspires to actively provide opportunities for community input and to represent every member of our community in a fair and legal process.

 At our regularly scheduled meeting on December 11, 2012, the LSC officially voted to establish the Principal Selection Committee (PSC) as a committee of the whole. This decision was made based on several considerations about how to streamline the process, provide effective and timely input from the community, and work efficiently within a very tight timeline. The established PSC will work on many tasks including the following: advertisement of position, communication with all stakeholders, criteria components for screening of candidates, resume review and interviews, candidate finalist forum, as well as other tasks as the need arises.  All LSC, PSC, and PSC subcommittee meeting agendas will be posted at least 48 hours in advance outside the main entrance of the school in accordance with the Open Meetings Act (OMA) guidelines and every effort will be made to keep the community informed. Most meetings are expected to take place at school or at the Center on Halsted.

It is important to note that this selection process requires that we have closed sessions when discussing specific candidates due to the confidentiality requirements.  Once the process begins with actual candidates, open communication will legally be limited to discussion about process and not the specific candidates. We thank you in advance for your patience and trust as we select and interview the best candidates for the principal position. All PSC recommendations made regarding the principal selection process will then be voted on by the entire LSC at regularly scheduled or special LSC meetings in accordance with OMA.  Additional communications will also be made available on the school website and through e-mail.

We are committed to keeping you informed and providing you the opportunity to provide feedback. Please feel free to e-mail us and/or speak to us in person about your concerns and suggestions by contacting the Principal Selection Committee co-chairs Karen Barbour (LSC chair-person) ; 773-633-6567 and Fran Feeley  (teacher representative); 773 534-5490. In addition, please reach out to any potential candidate and refer him/her to the CPS website for more information.

Enclosed you will find the Principal Selection Timeline approved at the Local School Council meeting on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.  For more detailed information, please attend our community informational meeting on February 6, 2013 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. At this meeting, we will explain this timeline in depth and have time for questions. Childcare will be provided for current IAMS students.


IAMS Local School Council


Job Posting

Outstanding principal sought for Inter-American Magnet School (IAMS)(, which has been a leader in successful multilingual, multicultural education since 1975. IAMS is the nation’s second oldest dual language program (also known as Two-Way Immersion). One of few public schools to be founded by parents, this Chicago Public School serves approximately 700 ethnically and economically diverse students in preschool through 8th grade from all over Chicago. 

Inter-American Magnet School seeks to promote academic excellence through dual language and multicultural education. All students, including those with special needs, attain proficiency levels in Spanish, English, mathematics, science and other fields of study that will enable them to compete and excel in community, academic and professional settings. Our students gain an awareness of and appreciation for diverse cultures that greatly enriches their lives.

This exceptional learning community has a gifted and dedicated faculty, involved parents, and a commitment to dual language education, social justice, a curriculum focused on the peoples of the Americas, ecological concern, and personal wellness. Collaborative parents, students and staff are devoted to maintaining both high academic standards and a nurturing and inclusive environment.

The history of Inter-American is rich with inspiration, success and achievement. Its collaborative founding and governance helped inspire the creation of Local School Councils system-wide. It has maintained diversity and academic excellence in a culturally competent, nurturing and safe environment. At Inter-American, parents, teachers, administrators, and students feel part of a warm, excellent, ground-breaking, and special school. It is an experience that enriches the lives of all members of the community.

Recommended Credentials and Developed Skills include:

  • Understanding of and dedication to the components and best practices that drive a high-achieving dual language program across all grade levels
  • Experience with advocating for critical components that are critical for effective dual language education within a mainstream educational system
  • Ability to read, write, and speak Spanish and English fluently
  • Proven ability and commitment to supporting innovative and effective teacher instruction in the classroom through professional development support, resource-building, communication, evaluation and action
  • Minimum 5 years teaching experience in early childhood, elementary and/or middle school
  • History of proven administrative experience, expertise and efficacy in early childhood, elementary and/or middle school (3+ years or equivalent, urban settings preferred)
  • A profound commitment to equity that assures academic excellence for all children in both languages and creates an open, respectful, and inclusive child-centered environment for children with special needs, their educators and their parents
  • Knowledge of and experience with Response to Intervention (RTI) philosophy and practices
  • In depth cross-cultural experience, and the ability to relate that experience to educational philosophy, cultural awareness, increased problem-solving skills and school community-building
  • Facilitative decision-making philosophy of leadership that empowers teachers and engages and increases parental involvement
  • Ability to execute a vision among all stakeholders that fosters professional development of the staff, maximizes the student’s academic and cultural experience at the school and brings faculty, parents and administration together in an effective way
  • The ability to identify and execute new key initiatives, programs, and processes
  • Knowledge of and experience with Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing Workshop
  • Understanding of the value of developmental grading systems that recognize that the work to be readers and writers in two languages across all academic subjects is a holistic process that takes time
  • An understanding of middle school philosophy and the value of problem-based instruction and project-based specials classes
  • Expertise in grant-writing and fundraising to support school programs
  • Knowledge, understanding and experience in the creation of the student environment, including support, safety, discipline, and encouragement and modeling of positive behavior norms
  • Understanding of the critical role of collaboration among teachers at a classroom level and school level in weekly and quarterly curriculum planning
  • Ability to identify barriers to key goals and formulate and effectuate professional, effective and forward-thinking solutions that take into account the school’s history, unique community, and commitment to the highest academic achievement for its students

This is a four (4) year performance contract. The applicant must be an eligible member of the Principal Candidate Pool under Chicago Public Schools Board Policy #08-1217-P02 “Requirements for the Selection of Chicago Public Schools Principals.” Please see Principalship Position Information or visit Further information is also available at the Principal Talent Office at 773-553-1515.

Interested candidates please submit a resume and cover letter (cover letter in Spanish and English) in digital format to as outlined in the Principalship Position Information section of the bulletin. Additional attachments will not be accepted. Candidates, please ensure that all files submitted contain your first and last name in the file name of all documents submitted.