Dr. Dorothea (Dor) Fitzgerald began teaching fourth grade in a suburban public school. After several years in the classroom she earned her Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Special Education. After many years in Special Education, teaching all grades, including early childhood, she pursued a doctoral degree in Educational Administration at Loyola University. The focus of her doctoral dissertation was the Principal’s role in Special Education.
With a strong desire to improve the delivery of Special Education she began administrative service as a Special Education Supervisor. This experience led to an Assistant Principal position where she served for five years prior to being assigned her first Principalship. In her role as Principal she focused on the inclusion of all Special Education students. She improved the culture of the school and was commended by the Superintendent for improving school climate and academic achievement.
When the Superintendent moved to another District he recommended Dr. Fitzgerald serve as interim Superintendent. After one year as interim, the Board of Education unanimously approved her as Superintendent where she served 15 years until retirement.
During those 15 years, Dr. Fitzgerald introduced writing across the curriculum and focused on high academic achievement. With the Board’s support she worked to pass a Referendum to build a new school in the District. She also helped write several construction grants that resulted in the building of another school as well as several major building renovations.
Throughout this time Dr. Fitzgerald partnered with Governors State University to establish a Beginning Teacher/Induction Mentor Program focusing on high quality instruction. To provide a strong professional development she invited GSU to offer graduate programs for teachers within the District.
Upon retirement, she joined GSU and helped develop the Metropolitan Institute for Leadership in Education (MILE) within the College of Education. This program worked with Principals and Superintendents to create an improved administrative evaluation. In addition, she taught classes as an adjunct in the Educational Administration program. Through MILE she worked with Superintendents to establish off campus cohorts in school districts.
Dr. Fitzgerald continues to serve in the College of Education as Cohort Director and as a part-time lecturer focusing on Leadership.