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Meet Ms. Nataly Lopez!

Dear Willard Community - 

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of Ms. Nataly Lopez as the Interim Principal of Willard Elementary! This appointment was approved by the School Board at today’s special meeting. Ms. Lopez will begin in her new role this July and is looking forward to getting to know the Willard community!

Ms. Lopez will lead the Willard school team alongside Ms. Khloe Battle, longtime Willard educator, who started as the school’s Interim Dean of Academics on July 1. These two individuals share a passion for educating, empowering, and supporting students; I am so excited to see them connect and work together in support of the entire Willard community.

Ms. Lopez has a strong background in instructional leadership and educator support. She previously served as the Assistant Principal of Blackhawk Middle School in District 2 Bensenville, and prior to that as the Dean of Instruction for the Humanities at Hansberry College Prep in Chicago. She is a first-generation high school and college graduate and takes great pride in her Puerto Rican heritage. She holds a Masters degree in School Leadership from Concordia University and a Masters in Teaching from National Louis University.

Ms. Lopez takes a holistic approach to education, emphasizing inclusive learning environments, social-emotional learning, and academic growth. In her free time, you might find her doing DIY home projects, reading, or spending time outdoors.

She will serve in an interim capacity while a search is underway for the next principal of Willard Elementary. We are committed to ensuring that the search process is transparent, inclusive, and includes input from both staff and families. This will include focus groups and the option to apply to serve on the interview panel. We anticipate beginning this process later in the fall after everyone has settled in to our new school year. More information will be forthcoming.

I have developed close relationships with our schools through my previous roles in District 65; I am thrilled to continue that supportive, humanity-based leadership as Interim Superintendent. My team and I will support Ms. Lopez, Ms. Battle, and the wonderful team at Willard to make this a joyful, strong start to the school year.

A welcome message and details for a “meet and greet” opportunity will be forthcoming from Willard’s new leadership team. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying a safe, fun summer!


Dr. Angel Turner (she/her)
Interim Superintendent