Sullivan Principal Thomas’ Legacy

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By: Christian Carreto (Sullivan Freshman)

Chad Thomas, who has served as principal for Sullivan High School for nine years, is stepping down as school principal to become a Director of Principal Engagement in Chicago Public Schools.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you today that I have decided to leave Sullivan,” Thomas said in an email sent to students and parents on Apr 4. “Over the last several months, it’s become more and more clear to me that my journey and time here needed to end.”

Thomas shared what made him get into a teaching career and a major accomplishment at Sullivan.

“I wanted to be a teacher because they changed my life,” Thomas told the Rogers Edge Reporter. “I know after I failed a grade, teachers were able to help me get back on track. I wanted to do that for students so I became an English teacher.”

One of Sullivan High School major accomplishments during Thomas’ term is on how Sullivan escaped from academic probation.

“Sullivan was on academic probation from 2000-2013 really proud we were able to get off academic probation and be a school students want to come to and the community believes in again.”

Students and staff shared on how Thomas made an impact on them.

Matthew Fasana, assistant principal, talked about one big accomplishment and memorable moment working with Thomas. 

“We took a school that was on the verge of being closed and turned into a Family. “

Thomas even inspired Fasana to go outside his comfort zone and challenge himself as an assistant principal in the Sullivan family.

“He gave me and everyone the freedom to dream big, try new things and truly make the school not about him but about all of us,” Fasana said. “He had to balance the pressure from all sides but never let it deter his belief of what this school could and still will be. He wore his heart on his sleeve, which is the only way he knows how to be and it showed in the way he showed up.”

World Studies Teacher, Angela Aviles, shared with the Rogers Edge Reporter on how she was impacted by Thomas and she felt a part of a family here at Sullivan.

Principal Thomas has made many majorly impactful changes during his time at Sullivan, but the most important is the family feeling that he fostered amongst staff and students,” Aviles said. “He managed to find common ground and build that family sentiment between people at one of the most diverse schools in the country. I really admire him for that!”

Margarete Collins, a 9th grade English student teacher, shared on how Thomas has been a role model she has looked up to.

“One of the things that I have admired the most about Principal Thomas is the compassion and determination that he carries with him. I have been consistently blown away by the warm and welcoming energy that he has cultivated within the Sullivan Family. As a student teacher, he has been an excellent role model to look up to.”

Student teacher Regan Cast shared how she felt as a first year teacher here at Sullivan High School under the leadership of Principal Thomas. 

“Sullivan High School and Principal Thomas’ partnership with Loyola University has given me the chance as an education student to experience and learn from teachers, staff, and administration. Principal Thomas’ dedication to providing experience for student teachers is helping to create a new future generation of teachers”

Angel Leon, Sullivan Senior, talked about a memory with Thomas and how he was impacted by him.

“I’m sort of a rebellious student but he’s a one of a kind principal,” Angel told RogersEdge Reporter. “He played the guitar in front of me and made me want to play the guitar that I have at home. He impacted me by keeping my mind busy with activities like recommending me to join sports such as football.”

Arikpo Dada, Math Lab Site Director, talked about how Thomas made Sullivan feel like a family.

“Mr. Thomas has always had a great attitude and makes Sullivan not only feel like a family, but we are a family,” Dada said. “You will be missed.” 

Ms. Christina Gonzalez will be the interim of Sullivan throughout the rest of the school year, beginning on Monday, Apr 18.

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