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Principal's Message

We are committed to "Climbing Higher!" This is the motto for Clissold School and we embrace it both culturally and academically.

Although this journey for me has just begun, I have been preparing for this moment the past 14 years.  I am honored to be the principal of such a unique and successful school.  My personal mission is to ensure that I support the experts within our school and create an educational experience for every single student as if they were my own.  We all have an obligation to embrace diversity and support social justice.  As educators, we carry a heavy responsibility knowing that excellence is the only acceptable expectation. 

Henry R. Clissold School was built in 1931 and was named after a hard-working man, dedicated and loyal to Beverly/ Morgan Park community.  This zealous drive by Mr. Clissold has been continued throughout the years and we will work to continue this tradition of loyalty and dedication.  We would like to invite alumni back to continue the tradition of this historic institution by leading us in the school song.

Clissold is one of only four Chicago Public Schools that offers such an exceptionally unique learning experience.  Our well-rounded students have the opportunity to be trained in grades K-5 with the foundation of Montessori and in grades 6-8 with the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Programme.  Clissold is committed to providing the highest level of academic rigor, differentiation, intercultural awareness and the holistic teaching approach that is grounded in the Montessori and IB curriculum. This allows our students the opportunity to take responsibility for their love of learning and create an educational experience that motivates our young scholars, prepared to positively impact the world.

Leaving Dore School, a phenomenal institution in the Clearing neighborhood, was an extremely difficult decision.  Clissold community members have expressed to me why Clissold is so special and a vital piece to a thriving community.  This along with such a diverse and unique program affirmed my desire and motivation for the position.

Clissold rests on the shoulders of passionate, hard-working and positive individuals.  This was tremendously evident throughout the principal selection process and greatly appreciated.  The Local School Council members should be applauded and celebrated for their patience and diligence with the process.  This dedication speaks volumes for their commitment to the school and community.  I only look forward to meeting and working with every parent and community member advocating for our vision of excellence.

I greatly appreciate the confidence that has been given to me as the principal of Clissold School.  Thank you to all of the school stakeholders for entrusting us with your most precious gift- our children.  As a father, I understand you have a choice in your child’s education and choosing Clissold is not something I take lightly.  Now that I am officially part of the Cougar family I know the staff is passionately dedicated and committed to “Climbing Higher” while ensuring that our young scholars receive an exceptional educational experience.


Sean McNichols