Dr. Jeanette Bartley
Dean of Academics and Equity
Tell us a little bit about your background, interests, hobbies.
I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and I currently live near the area where I grew up. Growing up, I knew two things for sure – I would be a teacher and a scientist in my adult life. However, in my mind, these were two separate career paths. Little did I know, that I would eventually combine these into one career and one passion. For undergrad, I studied biology and received my teaching certification in secondary biology from DePaul University. I also have a Master’s degree in Biology and another one in Educational Leadership. I have always loved to learn and I get bored very easily. So, when my son was beginning his junior year in high school, I decided to go back to school and get my doctorate in Science Education from IIT. In my 22 year career, I have been a middle and high school science teacher, a STEM instructional coach, district and program administrator, a researcher, and a teacher educator. And I have thoroughly enjoyed all of it.
I have been painting for 15 years. It started as a sort of therapy to help me relieve stress and has grown into so much more. I love to hole up in my studio for hours at a time and get lost in a painting. I also love to read, put together puzzles, and enjoy getting outdoors as often as possible.
What is your favorite IMSA memory so far, in just the short time you have been with us?
I have been at IMSA for eight months now and my favorite memory so far is going onto campus the first time and meeting the Principal’s Office team. I was hired remotely, so I had only met people virtually up to that point. Getting to see people in people (while socially distancing, of course) was great and made everything feel more real. I’m excited to meet more people in person as we repopulate.
What is your biggest motivation?
My son, Anthony, is my biggest motivation. Being a role model for him has always been important to me especially as a black woman raising a black child in this society. Now, that he is older (23), he has become my rock and strength. He pushes me to be and to do my best.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face?
Currently, I feel that I have to huge challenges: 1. helping our students and teachers successfully transition to hybrid teaching and learning during repopulation; and 2. continuing to help the Academy meet the needs of all students through our DEI plan. The most immediate need is ensuring that our students and faculty have a successful transition during repopulation so that our students continue to feel supported and successful. A long-term challenge is continuing to help the Academy fulfill its charge to provide inclusive academic and social opportunities and spaces for all students to be heard, seen, and supported in the ways that they need to be successful students as well as productive citizens.
What is your personal vision for IMSA?
My personal vision for IMSA is that we actually live up to our DEI plan. IMSA is a great academic institution with a long history of serving gifted students. However, we have to make sure that we are teaching and reaching the whole student – academically, socially, emotionally, and culturally. As an Academy, we are positioned to do this and I am excited about the challenging work ahead.