Michelle Navarre, Head of School

Ms. Michelle Navarre, Head of School, is responsible for the supervision and evaluation of Polaris Charter Academy’s teachers and teaching assistants; she oversees the design of curriculum, manages school discipline, and collaborates with parents to help foster their children’s learning and development. After working in a museum and an art gallery in Chicago, she began her path to teaching through the alternative certification program of Teachers for Chicago (1999). Before founding Polaris Charter Academy with her colleagues Ms. Kwock and Mr. Vivit, Ms. Navarre taught fifth grade for seven years at Harold Washington Elementary School, a Chicago Public School on the city’s South Side. In 2003, she received National Board Certification as a middle childhood generalist, and she participated in the New Leaders for New Schools program, a national principal preparation program (2006 –2007). Ms. Navarre is a recipient of the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching (2005) and was a four-year Rochelle Lee Teacher Award recipient (2000 –2004). Serving as both a program participant and volunteer for over nine years, Ms. Navarre is actively involved with Boundless Readers (formerly Rochelle Lee Fund), a collaborative peer network and literacy organization for urban educators that promotes lifelong readers. Committed to fostering new educators, she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the School of Education at Roosevelt University. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, Ms. Navarre received two master’s degrees, one from Roosevelt University in Elementary Education and one from National Louis University in Administration and Supervision. Ms. Navarre has boundless love for her two children as well as her niece and two nephews. She is passionate about reading, woodworking, and Nina Simone, and she loves to sing along to musicals, especially Audrey Hepburn’s My Fair Lady.