By: Aashika Mehta and Rafeea Tamboli
As the 7:35 am bell rang throughout the school on September 6th, frantic students raced to their classes. Many saw familiar faces mixed in with newer ones. This year, one of these new faces was that of Mrs. Jessica Cincotta. Currently serving as one of High School North’s assistant principals, Cincotta has been welcomed into the district with open arms. On her initial thoughts on High School North, Cincotta said, “This has been the warmest welcome ever received, and I have been in a number of schools. Students smile when I pass them. They say good morning. If I say hi, there is a response, with a smile. It’s really nice and welcoming here.”
A graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University, Cincotta has been working in education for eighteen years. After getting her Bachelors in Music Education, she taught band and choir classes for eight years prior to transferring to administration. She has also taught music in two Latin American nations: Paraguay and Bolivia. Traveling was a highlight in her high school and college backgrounds. “I love to travel. I had the certification [to teach] because I was already doing it, so I began looking for where I could go. Latin America was an interest to me… It wasn’t too far, but far enough. It was wonderful,” said Cincotta.
Working as an assistant principal is Cincotta’s second administrative job. She previously worked at Lawrence High School. One of the reasons she decided to work at High School North was because of the challenge of working with two high schools within the same district. “I have never worked in a district where I have to think what is my counterpart doing in another building, where we need to think about what is fair, what is equal, what is needed, because we had different kids. Same kids, but different kids,” said Cincotta.
As a newcomer in the district, Cincotta is determined to leave her mark on High School North. She identified three main goals for this year. Her first goal to effectively and efficiently troubleshoot all problems with the 1:1 chromebook learning initiative. Her second goal is to engage with students, teachers, and the administration and bridge the gap between the various groups. Cincotta’s third goal is to keep an open line of communication between the students and the administration. As she, along with the rest of administration feel that communication is imperative to a successful school year. She hopes that students will stop by her office and discuss any pressing issues so that she and the rest of the administrators are informed about students’ concerns. “[When students ask questions] it lets me know I haven’t heard the chatter. [Students are] letting me learn that there is chatter.” said Cincotta. Students seem to really appreciate that Cincotta always keeps her door open. “She has been very accommodating regarding my club issue and concerns. She… is always a friendly face around the school,” said senior, Advaith Bantval.
Aside from working as an Assistant Principal at High School North, Cincotta enjoys pet sitting and running. Additionally, as a mother of three children—a freshman in college, a sophomore in high school, and a three and a half year old—she also spends a lot of time with her family.
Cincotta is extremely excited to become a Northern Knight and contribute to the school district. “Mrs. Cincotta is a great presence in our school. She frequently visits classes and cares about what’s going on in our school. I think many students are looking forward to getting to work with her,” said sophomore, Jenna Saroya.