We are pleased to announce that the Archdiocese of Chicago recognized Lisa Rieger, our principal at St. Viator Elementary School, with their St. John the Baptist Innovation Award!
The award states that recipients must be "unafraid to innovate to improve their school" and be willing to "[take] risks through courageous decisions and creativity". Since she started at St. Viator Elementary School, Principal Rieger championed Educational Technology (EdTech) Tools in conjunction with classroom instruction. She identified adaptive programs, such as i-Ready and Lexia, that tailor to students' responses meet students at their work level. This was a big change from the previous Superkids program. Working through grant processes and logistic challenges, she secured i-Pads for students in Grades 3 through 8 to utilize for their online EdTech work. Looking around campus, you can see the changes in the parking lot and schoolyard to see the creative decisions Principal Rieger implemented this past school year. Painted cohort spaces and the Peaceful Playground are obvious, visual resources to safely students through their days. The act of gathering for the school day is now a unifying event. There is a defined play space in the parking lot, modified so that students can enjoy time to just play, but safely. Inside the school there are various COVID-19 related changes. Limited entrance for guests, way-finding markers, classroom arrangement, and even plastic shields in some classes contribute to the safety of the students. These changes are probably not popular with everyone, but Principal Rieger has continually worked for the benefit of the St. Viator Elementary School Students.
Another key factor is that these innovative principals have succeeded in "positively benefitting the students in their care". Here again, the strongest proof of Principal Rieger's success is on the St. Viator Elementary School campus. We have been in classes, without disruption, since August of 2020! The children are happy among their peers, there is a concerted effort to include students who are distance learning, and i-Ready test scores have improved. Need more proof? Just look at these smiling (albeit masked) faces!
We are grateful for many things here at St. Viator Elementary School. Today, we focus on our principal, Lisa Rieger. Congratulations, Principal Rieger, for earning the St. John the Baptist Innovation Award. We look forward to future improvements for our students and our community!