I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to Gale Community Academy Principal Augustine “Augie” Emuwa, who this summer was awarded a four-year contract by the Local School Council (LSC)!
Emuwa, who served as Gale’s interim principal during the 2016-2017 school year, has been officially awarded a four-year contract to serve as Gale’s principal. He previously served as Assistant Principal at Rogers Park’s Sullivan High School under Principal Chad Adams for three years before moving to Gale.
Emuwa, who was born, raised and educated on Chicago’s South Side, has been working hard to prepare the neighborhood K-8 school for this school year, looking to create and develop sustainable partnerships and programs.
“Principal Emuwa brings valuable experience at the high school level, energetic dedication to improving the lives of students, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement,” said Joanna Su, chairperson of the Gale LSC.
With leadership experienced cultivated during his time at Sullivan, Emuwa is finding his place in the school and the neighborhood.
“When you’re a leader in the Chicago Public Schools, it’s not necessarily that you have to have all of the skill sets in the world,” Emuwa said. “Everybody has skill sets, but what distinguishes you as a leader is your ability to feel.”
Emuwa has been looking to increase the interaction between the school and the members of the whole neighborhood.
“This is an opportunity for our community to come in and help transform this place and build a legacy that’s sustainable,” Emuwa said.
An example of these community partnerships has been with local nonprofit A Just Harvest, which was instrumental in helping Gale secure $120,000 in Participatory Budgeting funding to install an innovative urban outdoor education learning garden.
Emuwa and Gale’s Assistant Principal Melinda Jean-Baptiste have been working alongside a tight-knit staff to ensure the growth of academic achievement and enrichment programs at Gale.
“What I’ve learned about the staff is that they operate as a family. It’s something I’m super excited to be a part of,” Emuwa said. “They are also really dedicated to the kids.”
In the upcoming years at Gale, Emuwa and Jean-Baptiste are looking to build the neighborhood school’s sustainability, with a focus on improving attendance, parental involvement, instruction of leadership, enrichment and extracurricular classes, and Gale’s green-space learning program.
The pair also is hoping to enhance the student body’s socioemotional development through restorative justice practices integrated into everyday learning and discipline techniques.
“We really are emphasizing the importance of restorative practices in use, because at the end of the day, we want our students to think critically. We want them to be able to go out in the world and be able to look at things from different perspectives,” Jean-Baptiste said. “We want to help them be mindful of the impression they make on the world after they leave Gale.”
Looking back on his first year as Principal at Gale, Emuwa is confident in his ability to lead the school to reach its full potential, confident in the students and staff, and confident in the community.
“I personally feel myself growing, being a leader at Gale, and I’m hoping that I’m putting in place systems that allow other adults and kids to feel that way as well,” Emuwa said. “Our whole school motto is that we grow kids, but we really grow each other in the process, you know?”