It is Our Vision to: Create a Multicultural Community

Vision: At Casals School of Excellence, our vision is to create a multicultural community that will prepare and educate ALL students to be self-motivated, independent, life-long learners who are leaders impacting change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Mission: At Casals School of Excellence, we collaborate and partner with all stakeholders to provide a rigorous inquiry-based instruction to promote college and career readiness; integrate 21st century skills into our daily curriculum: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication; foster a profound appreciation for multicultural perspectives; inspire future leaders by modeling and providing meaningful opportunities to achieve success; and promote a safe and healthy environment by integrating social-emotional learning standards.

Pre K-8

Casals School of Excellence

3501 W. Potomac Ave.
Chicago , IL 60651

Enrollment: 477
A CPS Neighborhood School

Principal's Message


Greetings and Welcome to Casals

As the principal of Casals School of Excellence, I am honored to serve the students and families within our community. I whole-heartedly believe thatevery child deserves a high quality education and a school environment that both encourages and supports students’ development academically, socially, and emotionally. The Casals faculty and staff are committed to educating the whole child and making Casals School of Excellence a pillar in the community. No Exceptions, No Excuses!

K. Langbehn, Principal


Our Growth In

Steady, positive improvements in academic achievement, student engagement, and parent satisfaction are hallmarks of all AUSL-managed CPS schools. You will find reports for Casals School of Excellence to the right.

Our History

Building on Our History to
Create a Culture of Excellence


Casals School of Excellence is named in honor of Pablo Casals (1876-1973). Originally from Catalonia, Spain, Casals was a musician from an early age and became a professional cellist and conductor. He is regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time. Casals made many recordings throughout his career, but is best remembered for his recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, which he made from 1936 to 1939.

Casals School of Excellence opened in 1989 and contained 28 classrooms, a gymnasium, lunchroom, and library. The school, which is located on a former industrial site, was built to relieve overcrowding in neighboring schools.

The building was renovated in 2012 and contains 27.5 classrooms and serves 450 students.


AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership) is a Chicago nonprofit school management organization that creates schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) turned over management of Casals School of Excellence to AUSL in 2012 as a turnaround school. Turning around a school is one approach that CPS uses to improve neighborhood schools that have been failing for many years. The transformation begins with the new leadership and teachers in the building to deliver effective instruction and the right climate and culture to the same neighborhood students.

AUSL is committed to to providing all AUSL students with a quality education to prepare them for college and career.

Staff List

Questions for Our Staff?

If you have any questions, Casals School of Excellence staff will be happy to assist you.

Phone: 773-534-4444


Kristie Langbehn
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Mike Fisher
Asst. Principal

Charlene Reynolds
Resident Principal


Catherine Schroeder
Pre-K Teacher
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Ellen Mui
Pre-K Teacher

Rosey Martinez

Kelly Ackmann
1st Grade Teacher

Stacey Pikowski
1st Grade Teacher

Sarah Evans
2nd Grade Teacher

Anna Cangelosi
2nd Grade Teacher

Morgan Graves
3rd Grade Teacher

Michelle Gillespie
3rd Grade Teacher

Sarah Reardon
4th Grade Teacher

Brittany Bailey
4th Grade Teacher

Taylor Showalter
5th Grade Teacher

Sharon Herod-Purham
5th Grade Teacher

Teresa Chavez
6th Grade Teacher

Terrie Rayburn
6th Grade Teacher

Christina Nieves
7th Grade Teacher

Heather Debby
7th Grade Teacher

Amy Morgan
8th Grade Teacher

Nicholas Hall
8th Grade Teacher

Vicki Lewesky
DL Resource

Kelly Byrdsong
DL Resource

Megan Heitkamp
DL Resource

David Kim
DL Resource

Angelica Manzo

Kristen Munoz
Lead Bilingual Teacher

Gabriel Paez
Bilingual Teacher

Jenny Kaulen
Music Teacher

Tamika Hadley

Ryan McMillan
Gym Teacher

Mike Kaplan

Support Staff

Cornell Bursey
Dean of Students
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Lakesha House
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Lucelly Carvajal
Bilingual Sp-Ed classroom Asst
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April Frazier-Daniels
Security Supervisor II
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Lorena Jimenez
Teacher Asst. Bilingual II
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David Lugo
Security Supervisor II
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Victoria Martinez
Instructional Asst.
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Tatiana Martinez
Lunch Room Manager
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Lenell Robinson
Senior Security Officer
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Orlando Rodriquez
Security Officer
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Kenyatta Shelton
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