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Principal's Message

Dr. Trista L. Harper has over 20 years of direct experience in education, teaching life skill classes, providing real world application, implementing after-school programs, and college and career training to neighborhood students.  Many would say it is her passion and purpose that guides her work, while impacting educational minds in her path. Much of Principal Harper’s service has focused on improving educational outcomes, quality and services for at-risk youths.

Dr. Harper graduated from Taft High School. It was here that she learned about the impact that school structure and stabilization could have on any student walking across the threshold of their school of choice. Principal Harper’s public school education allowed her to attend Northeastern Illinois University, where she majored in English and Secondary Education.  She went on to earn a Masters and Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Argosy University.  She then went on to National Louis University to receive her LBS1 certification.

Dr. Trista L. Harper professional experience started within Chicago Public schools teaching English at Simeon Career Academy.  She was hired as an English teacher and spent the majority of her time instructing and preparing students to be college and career ready.  After five years at Simeon Career Academy, Dr. Harper transferred to Percy L. Julian High School. It was at Julian High School where Dr. Harper was pushed into leadership.

In 2013, Dr. Harper finally received the opportunity to fulfill just one of her dreams.  She was accepted into the Houston Principal Internship program within Houston Independent School District (HISD). After completion of the program, Principal Harper moved from Houston to Saint Louis and Tulsa Public School where she brought about significant improvements in student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and curriculum development.  After her success in turnaround schools, she decided that she wanted to bring her wealth of knowledge back to Chicago.

Dr. Harper believes that all children can learn but each learns in a different way and at different rates. She believes that with hard work and perseverance we can touch each child in a special way. Dr. Harper is a very visible principal and she states that the best part of her job is visiting the students in all areas of the school. She gets to know every student and every student gets to know her.  She is looking forward to continuing her career here at the great Simeon Career Academy!