Terry Gierki is the program manager at Deans for Impact. Prior to joining Deans for Impact, she spent the last five years as Manager and Director of a Teacher Residency in a large urban school district, where she was instrumental in program design, development, and implementation. Prior to moving into those leadership roles, she was a coach for the residency program and also served as a mentor teacher for several years. She has taught elementary students and received her BA in Teacher Education at Concordia University, River Forest. She also has a Master’s Degree in Instruction and Curriculum from St. Xavier University, Chicago, and a Master’s in Education Leadership from the American College of Education.

It is time to shake things up in teacher preparation, and Deans for Impact is bringing the right people together with a realistic focus on change.

When/why did you start working in education?

My teaching career began when I was 8 years old when I gathered the neighborhood children together on the backyard patio. From the earliest I can remember, I planned to become a teacher, as I loved school and I loved my teachers. They were my window to the outside world. When I went to college there was no doubt in my mind that was what I wanted to do.

Why were you excited to join Deans for Impact?

Having spent more than ten years in teacher prep, it was important to me to stay connected to a field that I love. The attitudes and skills of teachers have a profound impact on students and their futures, and I am deeply committed to teacher preparation that is authentic, student-focused, and driven by data. Deans for Impact is asking the right questions, and fostering a meaningful agenda for change. It is time to shake things up in teacher preparation, and Deans for Impact is bringing the right people together with a realistic focus on change.

Why do Deans for Impact’s guiding principles ring true for you?

Until we measure what we do, examine what we learn, and accept accountability, we will continue to maintain the status quo, which is not working for all of our students. When we become data-informed, we can no longer ignore what needs to be addressed, and we can create the common language and strategies for true foundational change.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Tom Hall was my favorite teacher in high school. His biology class was interesting and one of the most challenging classes I experienced. I still remember the dissections, the fruit fly experiments, and the challenging exams. He believed in making science accessible to all students. He held office hours during all of his free time, and he also almost never answered a question unless it was in the form of another question. He truly challenged students to think.

What’s your favorite food truck and why?

Patrizi’s on Manor is one of my favorites! They handmake their pasta and noodles which are scrumptious!

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