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TCS Welcomes New Head of School!

We are happy to share that The Children’s School of Oak Park (TCS) completed its national search for a new Head of School, choosing Ms. Michelle Candelaria-Dunstan, M.Ed., an experienced educational leader from Boise, Idaho.

“After a thorough search process that included input from many teachers and parents, our Board of Directors looks forward to working with Michelle Candelaria-Dunstan who will join us as Head of School on April 9th,” says Alyssa Stark, Board President for TCS. “We believe she has the vision, experience and skills to help us reach our organizational and educational goals.”


Michelle Candelaria-Dunstan joins TCS from her most recent position as the Education Director for Anser Charter School in Boise. She brings a wide range of knowledge and experience in both traditional and progressive education. With decades of educational experience leading schools with an inclusion-based mission, she has taught at multiple grade levels and holds a Master’s degree from Boise State University.

Throughout her career, Michelle Candelaria-Dunstan distinguished herself in becoming an established leader at the school, community, and state-level, in addition to serving as an advisor to governmental bodies on a variety of educational topics.


“Our new Head of School will help us at a pivotal time in our school’s history. We are excited to bring fresh energy and ideas into our already rich program of project-based learning and democratic education,” says Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Ms. Gloria Mitchell. “We are currently renovating an additional floor in our new facility to add several new classrooms. We are also hiring new staff members and restructuring our administration to better meet the needs of our students and their families.”

The new Head of School, Michelle Candelaria-Dunstan says: “At The Children's School, we are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience that nurtures the whole child and fosters a lifelong love of learning. I am dedicated to upholding our school's mission of providing a supportive and inclusive environment where every child can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. I am confident that together with our excellent faculty and dedicated board, we will continue to create a warm, welcoming, and dynamic learning community where every child feels valued, challenged, and empowered to succeed.”


To help welcome our new Head of School, TCS has scheduled "Meet and Greet" times for families after school at 3:30pm. (April 11th for Pond families - grades K-2; April 12th for Lake families - grades 3-5; and April 15th for Ocean families - grades 6-8).

Additionally, our new Head of School will join parents, families, faculty and staff, along with alumni, friends, and the school's founder, Daniel P. Ryan, Ed.D, at its upcoming 20th Anniversary Bash on April 12, 2024.





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