Marlene Aponte-Mathews is a proud wife and mother of three boys. She arrived Dawes as a seasoned educator and instructional leader. This marks her 18th year striving for educational equity and accelerating academic achievement. Raised by immigrant, working class parents in New York City, she learned early on the importance of being humble and having a strong work ethic. More importantly, she was taught that language was the bridge to her ancestors and the heart of her cultural heritage. This led her to become a bilingual teacher in Brooklyn. After 11 years as an educator, she became an instructional coach with a deep desire to advance student learning at scale and mentor educators. She was soon promoted to Director of Coaching where she led a team of instructional coaches advancing school improvement efforts across multiple schools in Chicago. Marlene couldn't be more excited to join the Eagle community, where every voice matters and the culture of every child is viewed as the foundation for academic success.
Michael Edwards began his work in education as a school social worker in our neighboring district at the high school level. After nearly a decade in that role he joined D65 as a special education administrator and is happy to be entering his second year as the Assistant Principal for Dawes school. Throughout his career, he has worked to strive for academic excellence and equity for all students, and strongly believes in the need to support the whole-child and their social-emotional needs. In addition to his work at Dawes, Mr. Edwards supports the social work department and equity initiatives district-wide.