Meet the Principal
As a seasoned educator and administrator, Andrea Prola has a strong history of student-centered leadership, deep knowledge of data-based interventions and a passion for developing the whole child. She also is known for her respectful leadership and for building a collaborative culture.
Ms. Prola was appointed as Principal of Butler Junior High in July 2019. She also serves as Director of Student Services for the District. In her prior role in District 53, Ms. Prola was Director of Student Services where she developed early intervention services and an evaluation process for special education plans, implemented a framework for supporting services and created a parent partnership program. Prior to joining Butler, she served as a case manager in Troy Community School District and as a learning behavior specialist in Troy. She has been a graduate instructor at both Lewis University and University of Illinois/Chicago and a special education coordinator and graduate instructor at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. In addition, Ms. Prola was a Golden Apple Scholar and currently serves as a Golden Apple instructor and ambassador. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from the University of St. Francis, a Master’s Degree in educational leadership with a director of special education endorsement from Concordia University and is expected to complete her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Illinois/Chicago in 2019.
Prola said she is grateful and proud to join an exceptional group of educators, parents and school community at Butler. “Serving this wonderful community and creating a learning environment that fully supports the needs of all students are a top priority. I look forward to working and learning in unison with the Butler family, maintaining the program of academic excellence and strengthening relationships with students, teachers, staff, parents, administrators and the Board of Education.”
Meet the Assistant Principal
Melissa Zaniewski is a long-time educator at Butler Junior High known as a master teacher who has the unique ability to reach and motivate students and staff alike. She joined Butler in 2004 as a language arts teacher and since then has transformed curriculum and instruction in the Language Arts Department. In addition to teaching, she has led professional development programs, developed learning objective frameworks, helped create the District’s new state-required teacher evaluation process, and served as the intervention coordinator. Her expertise, ability to engage students, empowerment of others and high standards have enhanced student achievement in the District. She was appointed Assistant Principal in July 2019.
Ms. Zaniewski has a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Secondary Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Organization and Leadership, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“I am both humbled and honored to serve the students, families and staff at Butler Junior High School, she said. “I look forward to continuing to serve our exceptional students, their families, and the community.”