Dr. Jo Amburgey
Welcome to my webpage. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a member of the Gavin District #37 family. This is my 12th year as a principal. I thought it would be appropriate for you to know a little about me regarding my educational experiences and personal life.
My teaching experience span grades 1-12 and my administrative positions cover PreK-12th grade including a superintendent position. I grew up in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, and in 1969, I attended the University of Kentucky on a 4-year, full-tuition scholarship on saxophone. I graduated in December of 1972 with a BM degree in Music Education. I taught 6-8 band and general music in Ohio for one year and then I got married and moved to Sacramento, California. We lived there for one year and I directed the choir and band programs, grades 4-8, at two schools in the San Juan Unified School District. We moved to several states and finally landed in Naperville in 1988. While working on my Masters in Administration degree at Northern Illinois University, I taught general music and choir, 6-8, part-time for three years in the Naperville area. In May, 1991, I graduated from Northern with my Masters degree. I wanted a full time position and soon became the general music teacher and band director for grades 1-8 in Brookfield-LaGrange Park District #95 for a year and a half. An administrative role finally opened up. I worked for three years in Bremen High School District #228 as the District Fine Arts Supervisor for 4 high schools; Oak Forest, Hillcrest, Tinley Park, and Bremen. With this position, I taught one choir class at Hillcrest, grades 9-12, but I covered administrative responsibilities for the rest of the day much like a department head for art and music except I did this at 4 schools. The doctoral program at Northern caught my eye, so I left Bremen to work closer to Naperville or DeKalb. I became the 4-8 band director in Bloomingdale Elementary District #13 for one year at 3 schools. West Chicago Elementary District #33 hired me in a duel role as an Assistant Elementary Principal at a K-6 building and Dean of Students at the middle school. I then became a High School Principal at Hinckley-Big Rock CUSD #429 for 5 years. When I finished my classes at Northern, I became the Superintendent / K-8 Principal at Steward Elementary District #220 in Steward, IL. On June 22, 2005, I defended my dissertation on safe schools and completed the requirements for my Doctoral degree in Education Administration at Northern Illinois University. Before coming to Gavin, I served one year as an elementary principal in Cary Elementary District #26.
Between my California and Illinois educational experiences, I stayed home for 13 years to raise 4 delightful children, three girls and a boy. My oldest, Brigit, and her husband, Mike, live in Downers Grove and they have three children, Maryn, Isla, and Leo. Nieka and her husband, Scott, live in Nashville, Tennessee and they have two boys, Owen and Asa. Codie and her husband Jeremy live in Bolingbrook and they have 3 children, Aiden, Locklan, and Korbyn. My son, Kirk, lives near Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has a daughter named Elsa. Codie was blessed with a daughter, Jewl, when she was a teenager and we adopted this lovely child when she was very young. Jewl is a delightful 18 year-old. She lives with Codie now and attends the College of DuPage.
I am single and I have lived in Crystal Lake since 2005. My only companion is a loving, black lab / boxer mix dog named Chase. She looks like a lab and is full of energy even though she is 13 years old.
I am very eager to meet all of you. Please feel free to drop by my office if you ever have any questions, concerns, or comments. My office door is always open.
Dr. Jo Amburgey