Dr. Mary Beth Cunat comes from Chicago Public Schools to Rockford, IL
Spectrum Progressive School is thrilled to announce the hiring of our new principal Dr. Mary Beth Cunat. Dr. Cunat is moving to Rockford from Chicago to take this position and is bringing with her years of experience in pushing forward educational paradigms within Chicago Public Schools. Spectrum Progressive School couldn’t be more excited to have her talents and experience impacting our students and uplifting education within the Rockford community as a whole.
After eight years of serving as principal of Wildwood IB World Magnet, Dr. Mary Beth Cunat accomplished what she had been hired to do in making the tenants of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, "real" and interwoven throughout the fabric of the school culture. IB is a world-wide, world class program committed to progressive, internationally-minded educational approaches to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Through developing teacher leadership and bringing numerous grant-funded educational innovations to the school, Dr. Cunat led her team in making Wildwood an exemplary IB school known for its personalized approaches and visited by educators from across the country and world.
Dr. Cunat had been in conversation with Spectrum Progressive School for several months, starting in March 2018. Spectrum Progressive School was beyond impressed with Dr. Cunat’s experience, credentials, and passion for education. Contract negotiations began in May and were completed in early June.
The philosophy and work of Spectrum Progressive is grounded in Dewey's experiential, child-centered education where student inquiry and interest provide the focus to curricular choices throughout the school year and the school day. At Spectrum, curriculum and instruction are based on where the child is at with his or her own academic and social development. Spectrum's approach is a unique contrast to the delivery of a static, age/grade-based curriculum which is still entrenched in most U.S. schools. This alignment in philosophy between Spectrum Progressive School and Dr. Mary Beth Cunat on how to best educate our children is what makes her new principalship so exciting for our school, teachers, and parents.
What appealed to Dr. Cunat about the move to Spectrum was working in a school that had been established in progressive education for 50 years. She is excited about bringing an innovative mindset to Spectrum. One of her early priorities is leading the staff in taking Spectrum's open-ended curricular and instructional approaches to the next level by articulating and making visible more state-of-the-art and personalized assessment systems and strategies. Doing so will help the community see the amazing learning that happens at Spectrum Progressive School every day.
Dr. Cunat will officially be starting her role as principal on July 1st, 2018 and is excited to get to work on making Spectrum Progressive School the best school in the greater Rockford region.
Spectrum Progressive School is known as a leader in progressive education where the discovery and development of an individual’s full potential is naturally nurtured by students, families, school and communities through contemporary and progressive researched based methods.
Spectrum’s mission is to create mindful, self-directed learners for life!