By Tina Jenkins Bell
Jonathan Stack recently celebrated a full year of leadership at St. Barnabas School, 101st and Longwood Drive. Stack joined St. Barnabas in July 2021 after Elaine Gaffney retired as principal after seven years as an administrator.
Prior to joining St. Barnabas, Stack was an assistant principal at St. Ailbe’s, a Catholic School on Chicago’s southeast side. He also has classroom experience and been a dean of students. He said those positions prepared him for his current station, for which he honored and grateful.
“[Being principal at St. Barnabas School] is not just a job. It’s a calling, and I’m thankful to St. Barnabas for entrusting me to shepherd students, parents, and staff as principal,” Stack said.
Stack said St. Barnabas is an excellent school. Still, he hopes to lift the bar even higher with learning strategies and experiences that encourage students to live their Catholic faith. His goal is to continue to matriculate young men and women who are great people of faith and who demonstrate academic excellence.
Creating an environment of exemplary learning and teaching is a priority for Stack who wants to see St. Barnabas designated as a Blue Ribbon School. To that end, in addition to strong leadership, excellent teaching, and multiple opportunities for students to learn and succeed internally, Stack has connected with community and cultural partners to enhance St. Barnabas’ educational impact.
To enhance students’ learning experience, St. Barnabas currently partners with the Museum of Science and Industry, which offers professional development for teachers and STEM instruction for students. Another partner is located right here in the neighborhood, the Beverly Arts Center (BAC). BAC will provide music instruction and hands on learning, particularly for younger students.
In addition to academic and teaching excellence, Stack supports the school and parish motto, “We are one St. Barnabas,” a message of unity, equity, and inclusion. Stack said, the majority of St. Barnabas’s students are already accepted to some of the best high schools in Chicago. He is working to see majority transform into all.
For more information on St. Barnabas School visit stbarnabasparish.school.