New principal named for QAS
by BRIAN NADIG
Saint Cornelius School principal Kristina Reyes has been chosen as the new principal of Queen of All Saints School, where Peter Tantillo is retiring after 4 years as principal.
Reyes is finishing her first year as principal of Saint Cornelius, 5252 N. Long Ave., which will close in June. The 90-year-old school is merging into the new regional Pope Francis Global Academy, which will operate on the campuses of Saint Tarcissus School, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave., and Saint Pascal School, 6143 W. Irving Park Road.
Reyes said that she is grateful for the opportunity she had at Saint Cornelius and that she feels that the sense of pride and community there will carry over to the new regional academy. She also has worked as a teacher at Orozco Fine Arts Academy and Saint Juliana School.
Reyes said that she plans to build on the strong curriculum at Queen of All Saints, 6230 N. Lemont Ave. "I’m very excited to be here," she said. "It’s a wonderful school, an established parish."
The school, which opened in 1940, has an enrollment of about 650 students, most of whom live in the area covered by the parish.
Tantillo said that he thought his days as a principal were over in 2011 when he left Saint Alphonsus School in Prospect Heights after serving as the principal there for 9 years, but consultants for the principal search at Queen of All Saints convinced him to apply for the job. At the time he was an assistant principal at the School of Saint Mary in Lake Forest.
Several changes at the school have been implemented since Tantillo arrived at Queen of All Saints, including the expansion of its Spanish language curriculum and the implementation of a wireless Internet connection throughout the campus.
Tantillo said that computer tablets are available for all grades and that upper-grade students can now choose among several electives, including art, music and technology. The electives allow students pursue their interests while having "a little fun," Tantillo said. "With our purchase of a 3-D printer, students will be able to make plastic models of their designs," he said.
The school also changed kindergarten to a full-day program and, in an effort to give working parents more options, a full-day preschool program for 4-year-olds is now being offered, Tantillo said.
One physical change that visitors may notice is the location of student art work, Tantillo said. "They’re painting our ceiling tiles," he said. "They feel like they’re leaving a little legacy at the school."
While he is looking forward to his retirement, Tantillo said that he may seek some part-time work, possibly as a substitute mathematics teacher at a high school.