Administration

Thornton Fractional South is comprised of the following administrators. This 5-member leadership team implements the District 215 curriculum and policies.

 

Mr. Jake Gourley, Principal

Jake Gourley is T.F. South’s newly named Principal after serving 18 years in the classroom.  A native of Danville, Illinois, he holds a B.A. in History with an English minor from Illinois State University and earned his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Chicago State University.  A Lansing resident and active member of the community, Gourley was awarded the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 which permitted him to spend a semester sabbatical studying Leadership and Education at Northwestern University.  He was community co-chair of the committee that successfully marketed a construction referendum that helped secure a $19 million state grant for modernization and expansion at all three District 215 campuses.  He was the recipient of the Frederick D. Drake Teaching Excellence Award from the Illinois State University Department of History in 2011 was named a Most Influential Educator by Western Illinois University in 2012.  In addition to his responsibilities at T.F. South, he serves as Vice President for the Lansing Association for Community Events, Chairs the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, and sits on the Board of Directors of both the Golden Apple Foundation and A.C. Jaacks Credit Union.  He is a former President of Thornton Fractional Federation of Teachers Local #683.  In his spare time, Gourley enjoys to travel and has visited more than 20 countries.  He is a fervent defender of high quality public education and for advancing student opportunities.  He has been featured in Catalyst Chicago and in the textbook, “Everyone at the Table: Engaging Teachers in Evaluation Reform.” 

 

Mrs. Becky Szuba, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction

Szuba

Becky Szuba, an alumnus of T.F. South, started her educational career here in 1998.  She taught Spanish, English, and Reading for 13 years and is currently the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction.  She has held several leadership positions in District 215 including 5 years as activity director and 6 years as the varsity cheerleading coach.  She has served as a member of various school improvement committees such as District goals, Community Drug prevention, Crisis Plan, and Curriculum Writing and Alignment.  She served as an adjunct Spanish professor for Indiana University Northwest and co-translated a business motivational planner, which is used internationally.  She was also published in Constructivist Methods for the Secondary Classroom, a textbook for pre-service teachers.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Millikin University and spent a year of her undergraduate studies at the University of Salamanca in Spain.  Additionally, she has two Master’s degrees- one in curriculum and instruction from Olivet Nazarene University and one in school leadership/administration from Concordia University.

 

 Mr. Mychael Webb, Assistant Principal of Building Control

Mychael Webb joins the TF South administrative team as the Assistant Principal of Building Control following 15 years of service within the Thornton Fractional District.  Prior to his appointment as an administrator, he served as a math teacher at TF North High School where he successfully taught all-ability and grade levels throughout his tenure and served in various leadership positions.  Mr. Webb is a two-time award winner of the Calumet City Teacher of the Year Award.  He has helped structure, implement, and lead an award-winning restructuring plan recognized by the State of Illinois with an Illinois Excellence Award.  He has been a member of the school improvement plan team, coached basketball for twelve years, and served as the Assistant Athletic Director for six years. Outside of school, Mr. Webb volunteers and mentors at-risk youth.  He is a tireless worker committed to bringing the best out of his students and keeps abreast with the best practices in teaching and learning.  With that, Mr. Webb is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction at Concordia University Chicago where he obtained his Master of Arts degree in Administrative Leadership.  He also holds a second Master of Arts degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

 

Mr. John O'Rourke, Assistant Principal for Pupil Personnel Services

John O’Rourke, an alum of T.F. South, began his educational career at the South Campus in 2001 after working for an international marketing firm in Chicago.  He taught various levels of the English curriculum in his 7 years in the classroom and has functioned as a Dean of Students for the past 10 years.  Over the past 17 years, Mr. O’Rourke has always been involved in the school community by serving on various school improvement committees, assisted in the development of curriculum, and disciplinary initiatives.  In addition, Mr. O’Rourke functioned as an assistant varsity baseball and basketball coach before serving as the varsity boys head basketball coach for 8 seasons.  Mr. O’Rourke was inducted as a member of the John Carroll University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree from John Carroll University.  He also earned two Master’s degrees in English Literature and Educational Administration from Governors State University. ​

 

Mr. Marc Brewe, Athletic Director 

Brewe

Marc Brewe is a Lansing native who graduated from T. F. South in 1994. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics and Secondary Education from Ball State University and his Master's degree in Educational Administration from Chicago State University. Prior to becoming the athletic director at T. F. South, he taught science at T. F. South for 11 years. While a teacher, Mr. Brewe coached football, basketball, and baseball, including a stint as the head boys' basketball coach for 7 years. Before that, he worked for District 218 as a science teacher and coach.  Mr. Brewe resides in Manhattan, with his wife Melissa, and two sons, Jackson, 5, and Alexander, 2.