Changes made to district administration

Sam Nadolsky, SIS

In late July, Sam Nadolsky became the interim principal of Shorewood Intermediate School. He started in the district as the Advanced Learning Coordinator, working primarily at the elementary schools. For the last two years, he was a math teacher at SIS

Nadolsky was interested in this role following his completion of his master’s program at Marquette University in 2020

“I had an interest in leadership, and I enjoy the aspects of the principal role that have to do with working towards a larger school vision, and some aspects of education that aren’t always present in the classroom,” Nadolsky said. 

Though he has an interest in leadership, his strongest interest is still in teaching and classroom instruction. His approach to teaching affects how he performs his administrative role. 

“I think it’s really important to make sure that interactions with students come from a place of love and support, and the decisions you’re making as a teacher or [principal] are ones that are always student-centered,” Nadolsky said. “I think that empathy is a really important piece.”

His math background also provides him with advantages as a principal. 

“My background in mathematics and teaching math means that I am strong with data, and am able to use data to discover trends, but that also helps me with things like our school budget and other data informed practices,” Nadolsky said. 

One of his main goals as principal is to develop a strong sense of community within the staff. 

“I think one of the key things is adapting a leadership approach that values collaboration, so having collaborative decision making…I also think just having more opportunities for staff to get together,” Nadolsky said. “Coming off of Covid our staff haven’t really had many opportunities to be in the same room eating together or go to staff events outside of the school day.”

He also wants to shift the perception of SIS

“I want it to be seen as more than just an “intermediate school” or a “transitory school” between our elementary and high schools…I really want students to feel like this is more than just a two-year transition, that this is a place they feel like they belong, that this is a community that listens to them.”

Though he is an interim just for the 2022-2023 school year, Nadolsky hopes to keep this position into the foreseeable future. 

Nadolsky wants students and parents to know that he is very receptive to feedback, and he has an “open door policy.”

“I’m always here to listen, so whether that’s a student concern or a parent concern, I always invite those concerns,” Nadolsky said. “I think that’s how we as a system get better, is when we listen to our students, listen to our parents.” 


Mike Joynt, Director of T&L

After seven years as the principal of SIS, Mike Joynt has become the Director of Teaching and Learning (formerly called Director of Curriculum and Instruction), the position recently vacated by Sam Coleman. He also has experience as assistant principal and math teacher at other districts. 

[The new position] felt like a natural fit to me,” Joynt said. “I know the district really well, I know the principals well, and I know the teachers well,” 

While the title ‘Director of Teaching and Learning’ may seem lengthy, Joynt describes what the job entails.

“If we’re looking at departments that need to update their curriculum, I’ll lead them through the process of looking at how standards have been updated and what resources are available to update their curriculum,” Joynt said. “It also means working with a technology department to make sure that the technology kids use works consistently, and that the programs that we have on them work for what teachers are trying to do with students around collaboration and authentic learning.”

Joynt isn’t coming into this role with the intention of broad changes. Instead, he wants to continue to support teachers however they may need. 

“When I came to Shorewood, one of the things that attracted me… was the focus on authentic learning, and the fact that students are given voice and choice in this district,” Joynt said.

“It’s more about supporting a lot of the work and the philosophy of what teaching and learning looks like. That’s already been there, so I don’t see my job as coming in, and like changing things necessarily, but again supporting the work [of teachers].”

An important pillar of Joynt’s work so far has been supporting equity initiatives in the district.

“One thing…we’ve talked about is equity work,” Joynt said. “So I want to support that work and make sure that it continues… Mr. Coleman was instrumental in supporting that work, so I see my role as continuing to support that work.”

“It would be wrong for me to say I am an expert in equity work,” Joynt.  “I’m learning along with the teachers… I go to the same meeting and the principles and the teachers do to create the systems that we have within Shorewood.”

All in all, Joynt wants students to know that all his decisions are made to benefit them. 

“For me it’s all about the kids,” Joynt said. “ I told my teachers this one when I first became a principal, if you ever want to convince me to do things differently, tell me how it’s positively going to affect kids.” 


Alejandra Ovalle-Krolick, Lake Bluff

This past summer, Alejandra Ovalle-Krolick was announced as the new principal of Lake Bluff Elementary school. Prior to coming to Shorewood, Ovalle-Krolick spent 13 years in the Franklin School district. She served as a language teacher, associate principal, World Language coordinator, and most recently, as the principal of Pleasant View Elementary School.

“I started an exchange program between my school in Franklin and a sister school in Madrid, where we would host students from Madrid for a couple of weeks in the fall,” Ovalle-Krolick said. “I think it was through that experience I realized how impactful it is to empower students and learners to advocate for themselves and to try things that they wouldn’t otherwise try.”

Her experience teaching high school played a role in inspiring Ovalle-Krolick to become an elementary school educator.

“As a high school teacher, there were so many times that I would be sitting with the student who was about to go off to their next step, and things hadn’t worked out exactly how they wanted it to,” Ovalle-Krolick said. “I always thought to myself, what if we worked on their behalf earlier? What if we advocated for them earlier?”

“I always knew that if I became a principal, if I was lucky enough to lead at school, that I would want it to be an elementary school. I would want to catch and empower them as quickly as possible.”

Shorewood’s commitment to equity was one of the major reasons Ovalle-Krolick cited in her move to the district. 

“When you’re doing [equity] work, you know that there will be so many opportunities to be humbled by that work, and oftentimes, people have a tendency to allow their fear to overcome what they know is best for students.”

“I am a first generation Mexican-American. The opportunities that I have, my mom did not have and my grandmother certainly did not have. I do not take that lightly. I want to ensure that every child has access to their learning, and that we are setting the conditions for that,” said Ovalle-Krolick.

“We make a promise to our learning community, to our families, to the community at large about the access that children will have to their learning and the sense of belonging that will happen in this building.”

Ovalle-Krolick views each child’s education experience as a joint effort between the community and school educators, and she wants to honor Shorewood’s culture.

“I’m really trying to take this time to learn about what has been established, and what is meaningful to the culture here. I knew that, going in, with this community and the beliefs that this community has, we would be able to do great things for learners, and that will be a result of the educators in this building.”

Ovalle-Krolick’s priority will be ensuring that each child can grow to their maximum potential. 

“We have 180 days in a year with learners, and I always ask myself, did they grow enough? Did they feel seen? Did they feel cared for? Those are the things that matter tremendously to me.”