It is Our Mission to Produce Lifelong Learners

At National Teachers Academy we envision building an academic foundation for all students in a safe and supportive environment. Utilizing best practices, NTA faculty and staff will academically prepare and empower students and families to become global thinkers and advocates for self and community.   

  • We are committed to developing our students to become life-long learners.
  • We are committed to our work as a teacher training academy to prepare dedicated teachers for success in high need communities.
  • We are data-driven.
  • We believe in shared leadership.
  • We offer a culturally rich curriculum.
  • We offer multiple channels for student success targeting college and career readiness.
  • We strive to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all diverse learners via differentiating instruction across all curricula.
  • We teach our students to build positive and lasting relationships with their peers, parents and staff.
Pre K-8

National Teachers Academy

55 W. Cermak Rd.
Chicago , IL 60616
773-534-9970

Enrollment: 723
A CPS Neighborhood School

Principal's Message

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Greetings and Welcome to National Teachers Academy

Thank you for visiting our school website. We hope your visit to our site will answer any questions you have about our wonderful school. We are located on the south side of Chicago in the South Loop community. National Teachers Academy is a Chicago public school that is managed by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). We have 723 students in grades Pre-K through eighth. About 80% of our students qualify for free/reduced lunch.

National Teachers Academy is a dynamic community of 21st century scholars striving to becoming lifelong learners.  NTA’s mission is to ensure that every child enters high school on the pathway to college.  The NTA Way- Courage, Commitment, Awareness and Integrity- is the roadmap to get there.  With this at the core of all NTA does, our highly dedicated staff develops and supports student growth through high-order reasoning and critical thinking activities, opportunities for enrichment and expression, and cutting edge technology.  

Isaac D. Castelaz, Principal

Performance

Our Growth In
Achievement

Steady, positive improvements in academic achievement, student engagement, and parent satisfaction are hallmarks of all AUSL-managed CPS schools. You will find reports for National Teachers Academy to the right.

Our History

Building on Our History to
Create a Culture of Excellence

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National Teachers Academy was opened in 2002 to deliver strong professional development for teachers and a positive learning experience for students. The school truly began to deliver on these objectives when Amy Rome and AUSL took over management in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Improved student achievement (18.2 percentage point increase since 2008), a strong school climate and culture and engaged families are hallmarks of NTA. Since AUSL’s management, NTA, where 91.4% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, has closed the achievement gap and now exceeds the CPS district average, increasing ISAT meets/exceeds from 55.9% to 74.1%.

2002 – NTA opened under the direction of a consortium of 15 school partners including universities in an effort to deliver strong professional development for teachers at a neighborhood school. 

2004 – With unmet expectations in student performance, school climate and teacher development, CPS moved management to UIC. Over the next two years, NTA experienced leadership turnover (2 new principals in as many years) and significant teacher turnover.

2006 – Following the hiring of Principal Amy Rome in the fall of 2006, NTA made progress in academic performance. (ISAT meets/exceeds: 48.4)

2007 – CPS moved management to AUSL based on AUSL strong teacher residency program. Improvement in student achievement continued. (ISAT meets/exceeds: 55.9)

2008 – Teacher training began at NTA as teachers were prepared to become strong mentors. (ISAT meets/exceeds: 59.8)

2009 – The first class of residents began at NTA. (ISAT meets/exceeds: 60.0)

2010 – (ISAT meets/exceeds: 73.4)

2011 – At the end of the school year (2012), Principal Amy Rome was promoted to Director of Teacher Development and is working across the AUSL Network.    (ISAT meets/exceeds: 74.1) 

2012 – Isaac Castelaz, formerly from AUSL’s Chicago Academy High School, one of the highest performing non-selective enrollment high schools in the district, replaced Amy at NTA.

AUSL

AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership) is a Chicago nonprofit school management organization that creates schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) turned over management of National Teachers Academy to AUSL in 2007 as a training academy. Training Academies are neighborhood schools in which residents are trained. These schools are not turnarounds but were opened with the purpose of developing highly effective teachers for the challenging urban environment.

AUSL is committed to to providing all AUSL students with a quality education to prepare them for college and career.

Staff List

Questions for Our Staff?

If you have any questions, the National Teachers Academy staff will be happy to assist you.

Phone:773-534-9970

Fax: 773-534-9971

Administration

Isaac Castelaz
Principal
773.534.9970
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Teneka Brooks
Assistant Principal
773.534.9970
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Katie Peterson
Mentor Resident Coach
773.534.9970 ext. 40999
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Michelle Feltes
Counselor
773.534.9970
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Carina Pruitt
Literacy Coordinator
773.534.9970 ext. 87562
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Teachers

Melissa Matthews
PE/Swim
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Kristie Morsher
Art
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Aaron O'Neill
PE/Swim
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Autumn Laidler
Digital Learning
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Maritza Diaz
Spanish
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Amanda Glasbrenner
Pre-Kindergarten
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Erin Flynn
Kindergarten
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Carrie Both
Kindergarten
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Jamila Leonard
Kindergarten
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Hannah Kreindler
1st Grade
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Kelsey Connor
1st Grade
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Ryan Konicek
1st Grade
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Lisa Siciliano
3rd Grade
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Kara Silverglat
2nd Grade
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Katie Foos
1st/2nd Grade
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Bridget Farmhand
Case Manager
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Taree Porter
2nd Grade
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Jennifer Saez
2nd Grade
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Michelle Anderson
Primary Special Education
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Nora Keating
Intermediate Special Educatoin
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Michelle Vasquez
Intermediate Special Education
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Robin Ratcliff
3rd Grade
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Brian Kirwan
3rd Grade
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Amber Yeaton
3rd Grade
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Joseph Malaquias
4th Grade
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Shauna Edgar
4th Grade
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RaStar West
5th Grade
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Ashley Albritton
5th Grade
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Cory Mares
6th and 7th Grade
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Antonia Bobo
6th adn 7th Grade
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Ken Voorhees
Middle School Math
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Melissa Hausser
Middle School Special Education
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Sarah Weidmann
Middle School Social Studies
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Courtney Langston-Daniels
Middle School Literacy
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Holly Wilson
Middle School Science
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Naomi Wilfred
Middle School Special Education
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Kristen Nasta
Middle School Special Education
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Kate McFeeley
Middle School Special Education
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Emily Spallone
Intermediate Special Education
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Kara Barber
Intermediate Special Education
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Miguel Manero
ELL Teacher
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Christina Snailum
4th Grade Gifted Teacher
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Arnetta Fridge
Music Teacher
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Support Staff

Marcus Moore
Director of Culture and Climate
773.534.9970 ext. 87629
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Darlene Braboy
Clerk
773.534.9970
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Sylvia Brown
Clerk and Student Support
773.534.9970
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Diane Norman-Willis
UIC Clinic
773.534.9970 ext. 87623
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James Norwood
Clinic Manager
312.326.4472
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Barbara Blue
Nurse Clinician
773.534.9970 ext.87667
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John Pointer
Security
773.534.9970
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Scott Heffner
Engineer
773.534.9970
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Tijuana Nichols
Facilities Manager
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Darnell Phillips
Lunchroom Manager
773.534.9970
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Jeffrey Arnold
Teacher Assistant
773.534.9970
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Nehemiah Daniels
Special Education Assistant
773.534.9970
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Jamar Williams
Special Education Assistant
773.534.9970
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Vicki Williams
Special Education Assistant
773.534.9970
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Felicha Walker
Special Education Assistant
773.534.9970
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Thea Smith
Special Education Assistant
773.534.9970
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Kim Walker
Security Team
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