Mr. Sean Hamilton named INCS Teacher of the Year!!!!

Catalyst Maria 10th-12th Grade Visual Art Teacher Sean Hamilton was named the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) Teacher of the Year!!! The INCS Teacher of the Year awards began in 2011, and they received a record number of nominations (100+!) this year! Mr. Hamilton, a member of the Catalyst Maria team since 2014, has made a profound impact on innumerable lives at Catalyst Maria through his daily instruction as well as leading INCREDIBLE events like the annual STEAM EXPO!  The school community celebrated Mr. Hamilton with an assembly on Tuesday that was attended by scholars, staff, and members of the INCS team (Mr. Hamilton’s family also joined virtually!).  Mr. Hamilton will be honored on December 6, 2021 at the 2021 INCS Charter Excellence Awards at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. CONGRATULATIONS Mr. Hamilton- we are INSPIRED by you and GRATEFUL to have you on the Catalyst team!

Sean Hamilton INCS

Thanksgiving Break 2021

Catalyst is incredibly thankful for the commitment that all members of the Catalyst community dedicate to our mission of teaching minds and touching hearts! In observance of Thanksgiving, Catalyst Schools will be closed to scholars and staff Wednesday, November 24, 2021 through Friday November 26, 2021.

We hope that you are able to rest, relax and rejuvenate with family and friends over the Thanksgiving break!   


Catalyst Board of Directors Meeting Agenda- November 22, 2021

The Catalyst Board of Directors will hold a meeting November 22, 2021 from 3:00-5:00 pm. The agenda and meeting information are below. If you have questions, please contact Catalyst's Director of Administration Michael Kasang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Catalyst Schools- Board of Directors Meeting

November 22, 2021 3:00-5:00 PM


Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School

5608 W. Washington Blvd.

Chicago, Illinois 60644


*3:00-3:30- Welcome: Dr. Colleen Reardon, Chair and Mr. Gordon Hannon, CEO

  • Review of agenda
  • Review and vote for approval of September 20, 2021 Board of Directors meeting minutes; November 16, 2021 Academic Committee meeting minutes; October 29, 2021 Finance Committee meeting minutes; and October 22, 2021 and November 12, 2021 Executive Committee meetings minutes

*3:30-3:40 -Public comment (limited to 2 minutes per speaker)

*3:40-4:00- Introduction of Catalyst Maria Parent Advisory Council and support staff

*4:00-4:15-Academic Committee: Dr. Catherine Burns

  • Update on school academic plans
  • Update on Catalyst Maria charter renewal

*4:15-4:30 - Finance and Strategic Issues Committee: Ms. Ying-Yuan Hsu

  • FY21 audit
  • FY22 YTD

*4:30-4:45 KCA Foundation update: Terry Toth, Board Chair

*4:45-5:15: Board governance items:

  • Review and vote for approval for three-year renewal term of Claiborne Wade to Catalyst Board of Directors
  • Review, discussion, and vote for approval for three-year election of Dr. Catherine Burns or Larry Williams as Chair of the Catalyst Board of Directors


Board of Directors 11.22.21 location adjustment

**Effective 11/12/21**

The location of the Board of Directors' meeting on Monday November 22, 2021 will be:

3:00-5:30 PM

Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School

5608 W. Washington Ave.

Chicago, IL 60644

Vaccine resources for ALL Catalyst scholars and families!!

Hello Catalyst families!

We hope that you are safe, healthy and are doing well!

All Catalyst scholars are eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage scholars to become vaccinated as soon as possible, as scholars that are fully vaccinated will NOT need to test weekly for COVID-19, will NOT need to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive/potential COVID-19 case and do not develop symptoms, and will NOT need to face a restriction from school after traveling.

Catalyst Maria will host an on-site vaccination event for all scholars and families on December 11, 2021 and Catalyst Circle Rock will host a on-site vaccination event for all scholars and families on December 18, 2021.  Please connect with your Catalyst campus with any questions.

Below are additional resources for scholars and their families to become vaccinated:

Vaccination sites – CDPH shared two useful resources to help connect families to vaccines. You can find vaccine sites in the city of Chicago here. City sites will be open to 5- to 11-year-olds starting Saturday, November 13, 2021.

CPS is offering vaccinations in several locations that Catalyst students may receive their vaccine at- more information is linked here.

CDC Vaccine Finder: vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you

Several stores are currently offering COVID-19 vaccines, and each has its own registration link:

  • Walgreens appointments can be made through this link.  
  • Jewel-Osco appointments can be made through this link.
  • Walmart appointments can be made through this link.
  • Mariano’s appointments can be made through this link
  • CVS appointments can be made through this link.

Support Catalyst    

Please join our efforts as a champion for changing lives at The Catalyst Schools. If you would like to speak with a Catalyst staff member about your donation, please call us at 773-295-7001.