About Us

The mission of Friends of Pritzker is to support the academic and extracurricular goals of A.N. Pritzker School. We achieve this mission through 1) fundraising and 2) building a strong community.

Friends of Pritzker School started as a question, then a conversation. An idea became an action. One voice became many voices. The voices of neighbors, friends, parents, community members, local business owners, and local politicians, agree that an excellent public school is critical to maintaining a neighborhood’s vitality, stability and growth. A school can echo the strength of a community and ensure its vibrancy.

Over the last several years, the A.N. Pritzker School has made incredible progress internally. Pritzker has a Regional Gifted Center attracting academically talented students from across Chicago, a Fine and Performing Arts program that becomes richer each year, an economically and racially diverse student body, and many and varied extracurricular activities. However, neighborhood enrollment in the school remains relatively low. Harnessing and maintaining community excitement will make Pritzker one of the premier elementary schools in the City of Chicago.

One of Friends of Pritzker’s first goals is to increase enrollment among neighborhood families. The preschool years and Kindergarten are very important decision points for parents as they decide whether they want to stay in the city or move to the suburbs and whether to send their kids to public or private school.  In an effort to attract neighborhood parents beginning when their children turn three, Pritzker opened a Preschool for All classroom in the fall of 2008. Interest in the program has far exceeded expectations! Each fall, 40 students aged three and four that live in the surrounding neighborhoods begin preschool at Pritzker.

Friends of Pritzker has raised over $250,000+ YTD for our school.

  • In 2008, we established Pre-School for All.
  • In 2009, musical instruments were donated and refurbished for the Band Program, we tuned pianos and paid fees for special artists.
  • In 2010, the Science Lab was renovated including ACTIVE White Board Technology and teacher training.
  • In 2011, we established our first grant committee – which has raised $55,000 since inception.
  • In 2012, the Play Space Renovation began resulting in a creative outdoor learning stage, a sensory garden and benches. Green space was increased through trees and planting beds.    A Campaign for Student Literacy  included Leveled Reading Libraries for K to 3rd Grade, 32 IPads and an iPad card for the Library, 4 iPads for Special Education Listening Library and a library renovation:  new chairs, tables, reading space, circulation desk & 30% more shelving.
  • In 2013, we purchased and installed a new Auditorium Sound System – the heart of our Performing Arts program.
  • In 2014, we raised over $45,000!  With those funds we did a full renovation of our  Computer Lab painting walls,  new desks and chairs, buying new computers, and  smart board technology in the Lab  In addition, we  added  two computer carts for use in our classrooms.  Over 75 new devices were added to the school from the campaign.
  • In 2015, we raised funds for a renovation of the Art Room which included new shelving, walls painted and a new video display system installed.  We also added 30 iPads, new printer and two new Apple Desktop computers.  We brought in a consultant to work with Ms. Schwartz to develop a video class for the children that culminated in some great videos that were on display at the Festival of the Arts.  We had a little money left over, so we did a complete renovation of the Teachers’ Lounge.  Parents cleaned and painted walls, new furniture was added and we upgraded some of the appliances.
  • 2016 was our biggest year ever!   Our efforts raised $77,500 to modernize the facilities for the Performing Arts  — Stage and studio renovation, sounds and lights upgrade,  as well as improved safety measures will dramatically improve the incredible performances our kids deliver for many years to come.
  • 2017,  We raised $101,000 for the Play on Pritzker Campaign.  This is a multi-year project to renovate out playground.  The first phase of the project was the design and the renovation of the Garden Area  which were completed over the summer.  We’re now on to phase two with a goal to raise additional funds to upgrade our play space.

 

BOARD MEMBERS

 

PAST PRESIDENTS

Lindsay Gaskins

 

Ryan Hiss has two young ladies at Pritzker. He has two daughters at Pritzker: Casey and Erin. When he is not working as a construction lawyer and a partner in Lyman & Nielsen, he is listening to funk & soul and wrestling his girls. Ryan holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

 

Kelly Greeby  has a daughter and a son at Pritzker. She has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Albion College and an M.S. in Public Service/Public Policy from DePaul University. Prior to motherhood, she worked in not for profit organizations, as a Membership Director and a Development Director.

FOUNDER

K.C. MacQueen is the founder and past president of Friends of Pritzker School. A former Chicago Public School teacher, she has a passion for public education. After teaching in CPS, she spent several years working in online education at the college level. She holds a degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. When she is not mothering her twin boys, or getting used to her new home in Palo Alto, CA, she sleeps. Her smile, vision, and fun glasses will be missed; she will always be orange to us.

 

ABOUT PRITZKER
Pritzker School is both a neighborhood magnet-cluster school, A Fine and Performing Arts School and a Regional Gifted Center. The school is located in the heart of Wicker Park @ 2009 W Schiller St, 60622.   Pritzker is also proud to offer a Pre-K for all program.

For more details, please visit the Pritzker School website.