News from the Aurora University community

Allison Sherman named director of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School

Posted by on March 13, 2014

Allison ShermanAllison Sherman, MA, has been named the director of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School. In this role, Sherman will collaboratively lead students, teachers, faculty and partners to create a sustainable learning environment that fosters the mathematics, science, technology and engineering achievement of third through eighth grade students from the East Aurora, West Aurora and Indian Prairie school districts. Sherman began her duties on March 3, 2014.

“Allison Sherman will bring the right blend of experience, expertise, enthusiasm and vision to her new role as the founding director of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School,” said Aurora University President Rebecca L. Sherrick. “Based upon her credentials and record of achievement, she quickly became the first choice of all who participated in this important search. All of us at Aurora University, our three partner school districts and our long list of collaborating organizations look forward to working closely with her to open the new school in the fall of 2014.”

“I am truly honored to lead the Partnership School in its inaugural year and to witness firsthand the profound impact that innovative STEM learning will have on our students,” said Sherman. “The vision for the school challenges the traditional instruction of science, mathematics and technology in today’s public schools. The integrated, real-world STEM curriculum will transform the educational experience for the students within this school. I am privileged to bring this concept to reality on behalf of the many partners committed to our vision.”

Sherman joins the STEM Partnership School after five years with Indian Prairie School District 204 where she served as director of core curriculum. There, she directed the development and implementation of curriculum for all grade levels and core subjects as well as orchestrated professional development for teaching staff and school administrators. She has also served as curriculum coordinator for Centralia School District in Buena Park, Calif., in addition to teaching mathematics and science at Northwestern University in the Center for Talent Development and in Glencoe District 35 in Glencoe, Ill.

Sherman earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from Stanford University.

“The John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School requires a leader with an understanding of the importance of STEM, the changes needed in order for our students to be competitive in a STEM working environment and the ability to work with a business-involved STEM team,” said James Rydland, Superintendent of West Aurora School District 129.  “Allison Sherman is the leader who will move this important initiative forward. I look forward to working with her, our partner districts and Aurora University to meet the challenge of preparing our students for the future.”

“We’re thrilled that Aurora University has taken this important step toward opening the STEM Partnership School,” said Jerome Roberts, Superintendent of East Aurora School District 131 Superintendent. “I’m sure our East Aurora students and our East Aurora teachers will get a great education from Allison Sherman.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Allison Sherman as she served as District 204’s director of core curriculum,” said Kathy Birkett, Superintendent of Indian Prairie School District 204. “She is a knowledgeable school administrator who will serve well the students, parents and teachers at the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School.”

Sherman will oversee the school’s curriculum as well as its faculty and student population. The school will be staffed by teachers who will be drawn from the partner districts and earn content-based STEM master’s degrees during their residency in the school. They then will return to their home districts ready to serve as teacher leaders and a new cohort of professionals will take their places.

Construction of the 30,000 square foot facility began last autumn. The school will open in fall 2014. More information about the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School at Aurora University is available at

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