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About Us

Mission Statement: 
JAMES WARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL provides a high quality instructional program that includes a comprehensive, standard/research-based curriculum, which challenges students, utilizes effective literacy strategies, and embraces cultural diversity. These best practices, coupled with the use of differentiated instruction, aim to increase the achievement level of all students, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL), in order to promote continuous progress in an inclusive, least restrictive, and safe environment. We maintain our efforts to develop and address the social and emotional needs of our students through various school-wide initiatives and special opportunities for growth. We also strive to maintain a strong school-home-community relationship.
Vision Statement: 
The JAMES WARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL believes that all children are entitled to the best possible education. We are committed to ensuring an educationally enriched environment. As a Multicultural School, we respect and embrace diversity and cultural understanding through foreign language education. All children, including students with diverse learning needs, deserve to develop their unique interest, assume responsibility for their learning and work cooperatively to reach their fullest potential and their life goals. Ward School strives to prepare all students to actively and effectively participate in the dynamic global community of the 21st century.

Karen D. Anderson

This is Ms. Anderson's 11th year as Principal of James Ward School. She has been an educator for over 32 years. Her life's journey did not immediately lead her down the path to education although she comes from a long line of educators including her mom (principal), and 3 sisters (teachers/school counselor). She studied Management Information Systems at Oral Roberts University at Tulsa, Oklahoma and upon graduation she returned to Chicago and worked as a data entry/computer programmer for 2 years where she designed corporate software for a major store chain. Although she enjoyed her computer programming career, it was not her true passion. When she realized her passion was for education, Ms. Anderson returned to school to complete a teachers/certification program at Chicago State University followed by two masters in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois.

Ms. Anderson began her teaching career in 1990 at the Van Vlissingen Elementary School on the far south side of Chicago where she taught Kindergarten, fourth grade and Reading/Social Studies resource over her six years at the school. in 1996, she joined the Ward School Family as a fourth grade teacher and then became the assistant principal in 1998. Ms. Anderson contributes much of her success as an educator to the great mentorship she has received from numerous individuals one in particular was her first principal at Van Vlissingen, Jacqueline Carothers who motivates her to pursue educational leadership. As a newfound principal, she continues to be very committed to the students, parents, and staff at James Ward School and the mission of the Chicago Public Schools. 

Contact Information:
[email protected]
Tel: (773) 534-9053

这是安德森女士担任华德小学校长的第11年。她从事教育工作已经超过32年了。尽管她来自教育工作者之家 - 她的母亲曾任校长以及三个姐妹担任教师及学校辅导员,但她的人生旅程并没有立即引导她走上教育之路。她在俄克拉何马州塔尔萨市的奥勒罗伯茨大学 (Oral Roberts University) 学习管理信息系统,毕业后回到芝加哥,做了两年的数据输入/计算机程序员,为一家大型连锁店设计公司软件。虽然她喜欢自己的计算机编程职业,但这并不是她真正的热情所在。当她意识到自己对教育充满热情时,安德森女士回到学校,在芝加哥州立大学完成了教师/认证课程,随后在伊利诺伊州河流森林的康科迪亚大学获得了教育领导力、课程和教学方面的两个硕士学位。

安德森女士于1990年在芝加哥最南端的范弗利辛根(Van Vlissingen)小学开始了她的教学生涯,她在那里教幼儿园、四年级的阅读/社会研究长达六年时间。1996年,她加入华德家庭,担任四年级教师; 1998年成为副校长。安德森女士作为一名教育工作者取得的成功很大程度上归功于她从许多个人那里得到的宝贵的指导,尤其是她在Van Vlissingen任教时的第一位校长Jacqueline Carothers,她激励她从事教育领导工作。作为一名校长,她一如既往地为华德小学的学生、家长和工作人员以及芝加哥公立学校的使命尽心尽力。


[email protected]

电话:(773) 534-9053

Dr. Elizabeth Griffith

Dr. Elizabeth Griffith
Asst. Principal

Dear JWS Staff, Students and Families,


My name is Elizabeth Griffith and it is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you as the new Assistant Principal at James Ward.  I am very honored to serve alongside you and will work collaboratively to ensure a positive student learning experience.  My career in CPS the last 20 years has prepared me for this supportive role and I look forward to learning from you. 


I was an elementary teacher on the south and west sides, served as an Instructional Support Leader at the Network level and have most recently worked to increase equity and access to speciality programming at Central Office.  These experiences have afforded me multiple leadership opportunities and the privilege of being a part of several dynamic teams.  Most of my work has included being a thought partner with teachers and administrators to rethink schoolwide structures for data analysis, peer observations and professional learning.  


For the last few weeks, I have worked with Principal Anderson, the leadership team and Mrs. Norville to ensure a smooth transition.  I have reviewed many of your first quarter planning documents and I am getting familiar with the PEOPLE, systems and structures that make James Ward thrive.  In the upcoming days, we will all reflect on the past ten weeks, share what learning is ahead and prepare for the holiday season.  


Once again, I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow with you.  I cannot wait to meet students and families and look forward to joining Pod meetings soon.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. 


Warmest regards,

Dr. Elizabeth Griffith

[email protected]



我叫伊丽莎白· 格里菲斯,我很高兴地向大家介绍我自己成为华德小学的新任副校长。我很荣幸能与你们一起服务,并将与你们合作,以确保学生获得积极的学习体验。我在CPS过去20年里的职业生涯让我为这个支持性的角色做好了准备,我期待着向你们学习。





伊丽莎白· 格里菲斯博士

[email protected]