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Cathryn Ilani

Principal and Teacher

Cathryn Ilani is a Principal who has been working in education for over 30 years. She is dedicated to providing a place and curriculum that helps students to grow. In both teaching and administrative roles, Cathryn Ilani has created an environment for her students to succeed. 

Cathryn Ilani has taught preschool through ninth grade over her years as an educator. Before she started teaching, Cathryn attended university in Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The university is a public research school and the official state university of Wisconsin. Founded in 1848, the same year Wisconsin receive statehood, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the flagship campus in the system. 

Once she completed her bachelor’s degree, Cathryn Ilani began working as a preschool teacher and teen coordinator for the Jacob Duman JCC Early Childhood Center in Chicago, Illinois. This role was Cathryn’s first experience working with and educating children. While in this position, Cathryn was attending graduate school to further her education and career.

In 1993, Cathryn Ilani completed her Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University. It is a private university and National-Louis University’s main campus is located in Chicago. After five years of working with preschoolers and teenagers, Cathryn began a new role at the Summit School in Illinois. There, Cathryn Ilani worked as a fourth to eighth grade teacher for six years. She continued to expand her knowledge and experience of working with children of various ages. 

Cathryn Ilani then went on to work at the Davinci Academy where she expanded her skill set. At the Davinci Academy, Cathryn taught the fourth grade and co-wrote the curriculum for those students. Writing the curriculum helped Cathryn create a lesson that was better fitted for her students. Cathryn quickly realized that she wanted to create a place for students to grow without being held up by the curriculum. 

In 2002, Cathryn Ilani opened the Einstein Academy, a school for academically talented students of which she is the founder and principal. Cathryn aimed to create a school that taught a well-rounded curriculum to its students. She had noticed that many other private schools focused on certain areas of curriculum while ignoring others and wanted to make a place that did more for students. The Einstein Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, located in Elgin, Illinois, that provides education for students from preschool through high school. 

Cathryn Ilani is dedicated to providing the best education for her students. Mrs. Ilani is one of the few teachers statewide with an endorsement in Gifted Education. Her classroom is always alive with excitement and hands-on learning activities. She is extremely dedicated to making each and every one of her students reaches their maximum potential. Cathryn Ilani is passionate about maintaining a curriculum that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). She believes that the science and math-related curriculum is ineffective without the arts as well. Mrs. Ilani is married and has three children. This is Cathryn’s 18th year teaching at The Einstein Academy.