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Meet the principal: John Rodriguez
By Catherine Edman | Daily Herald Staff

John Rodriguez, principal of Turner School in West Chicago.


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Published: 5/19/2008 12:06 AM

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John Rodriguez, principal, Turner School, West Chicago Elementary School District 33

Age: Younger then dirt.

Family: Divorced, three boys, Danny, 21; Alex, 17; David, 15

Grew up in: Born in Cuba, raised in Chicago

Your ultimate pet: Chico the wonder dog, a 15-year-old lab.

What's your education philosophy in one sentence: Provide every child the best possible quality education.

Personal hero: Abraham Lincoln.

How did you wind up in education? Sister, brother and aunt were educators. I have a desire to help children.

What is your dream vacation? Hawaii.

If you won the biggest lottery in history you'd … help starving children around the world. You can't take toys with you, but what you do for others lasts way past when you're gone.

Favorite reality show? "48 Hours."

Cubs or Sox? Both.

Musical guilty pleasures? Reggae.

Bungee jumping, rappelling or parachuting? None. Having three teenage and above boys is more then enough of a thrill.

What's the most innovative program you've seen so far at school? Extracurricular programs, such as sports, music and clubs I believe are highly underrated for their impact on student achievement. Because students connect with the school and build relationship with those adults that often surpass traditional classrooms. Students learn many qualities while participating in extracurriculars.

What lasting impression do you hope to leave? That I "cared" and hopefully left things better.

What's the worst influence on today's youth? TV.

Thing that makes today's students distinct? They have access to so much more information. It's a different world.

If I could change one thing about the world it would be … inequality in the world.

If you could paint your office any color it would be … ocean blue.