We’re very excited to introduce Vicky Maisey, the new Head of School for AltSchool Lincoln Park in Chicago. Vicky joins the AltSchool team with nearly two decades of experience in teaching and leadership roles at top schools in the U.S. and U.K. As Head of School, Vicky will launch AltSchool’s first school in Chicago. Get to know Vicky and her tie to Harry Potter below!
Meet Vicky Maisey
I received a Master of Education from the Open University and Postgraduate Certificate in Elementary Education from the University of Manchester. Before moving to the U.S. in 2010, I taught for 10 years in independent boarding schools in the U.K. I was a teacher and assistant housemaster at Christ Church Cathedral School at the University of Oxford as well as Head of the Lower School at Aldwickbury School in St. Albans. Christ Church Cathedral School is home to a world-famous choir. You may know it from “Harry Potter,” as it was used as the model for that set — specifically the cloisters, moving staircases, and Great Hall!
I first fell in love with Chicago during a Fulbright Distinguished Teacher Scholarship in 2005, when I participated in an exchange with a teacher in Chicago. Over the next five years, I came back to visit the city and partner school multiple times. It was this experience that first opened my eyes to the rich landscape of international education and how much I could grow as an educator by sharing (and learning) excellent teaching practices not only within the U.K., but in teaching communities overseas as well.
In 2010, I took the leap (best decision I’ve ever made!) and moved to the U.S., accepting a position at the British International School of Chicago, teaching second grade. There, I established a Learning Resource Department and joined the Senior Leadership Team. In 2014, I became a founding faculty member at GEMS Chicago, helping to launch their first U.S. school. Now, I’m preparing to open AltSchool Lincoln Park and am looking forward to welcoming our first Chicago families.
Fostering Student Agency
As an educator, my approach is to encourage students to take ownership of their learning and develop a strong sense of agency in all that they do at school. Through creating an environment in which students feel empowered to share their thoughts and ideas, I enjoy fostering a growth mindset, enabling students to pursue their interests and develop a love of learning. Sharing and celebrating student success is an important part of that process.
I also believe that students excel when families and schools work together in partnership, so communication and collaboration are key to my approach to helping students succeed in school and beyond the classroom.
Vision for AltSchool Lincoln Park
It is a privilege to serve as Head of School for AltSchool’s first Chicago location. Service is ingrained in all things AltSchool, and whole-child, personalized learning is at the heart of everything we do. AltSchool Lincoln Park will be a welcoming, dynamic environment that fosters creativity, independent thinking, autonomous action, and a lifelong love of learning.
The opportunity to work with the AltSchool team to support and drive innovation is very exciting. But what I’m most excited about is creating a school that is part of a close community that enables all students to reach their full potential.
As soon as I saw plans for the new AltSchool location in Lincoln Park, I knew that we were creating an incredible place for students to learn and explore. AltSchool Lincoln Park is located in the heart of Lincoln Park, close to the lakefront, Lincoln Park Zoo and numerous museums. I’m excited for our school to contribute to this thriving, vibrant community and to create meaningful connections with our neighbors.
The space will become a school full of sunny classrooms, smaller breakout rooms, and highly equipped maker spaces. A spacious communal area in the middle of the school will enable our community to learn and share together. In addition to an indoor recreation room, the roof can be designed for creative play and learning. I’m looking forward to realizing this vision alongside our first students and families.
Fun Facts about Vicky
I became addicted to running when I moved to Chicago, and love running along the beautiful lakefront. I enjoy distance running — particularly marathons — as well as being part of the local running community.
My undergraduate degree was in music from the University of London. Playing the piano and clarinet, as well as singing are still personal passions of mine.
I also share a hometown with Charles Darwin — a small, medieval market town on the Welsh border called Shrewsbury.
We are excited to open AltSchool Lincoln Park in fall 2018. Please sign up to receive updates about AltSchool Lincoln Park and to be notified when the application process opens for the 2018-2019 school year.