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Julio César Contreras

Senior Associate


Julio César “Jc” Contreras is a knowledgeable educator with more than 16 years of experience working in various educational settings: traditional districts, charter district, and higher education. Jc’s professional journey has provided him deep knowledge on bilingual education programs (transitional and dual language) and instructional coaching; leading school operations and culture; achieving results through others: assistant principal and principal; and serving as a district leader: deputy chief of schools and interim chief of schools (assistant superintendent equivalent) focused on improving principal supervision and instructional leadership.

In Chicago Public Schools, Jc lead his school to become one first few schools recognized for meeting the high standards of addressing health and wellness aligned to the USDA standards and HealtherUS School Challenge by First Lady Michelle Obama. Culturally, he lead his school, staff and community to increase the awareness of how culture and identity intersect with academics all of his 1,300 students which resulted in positive academic gains in literacy, mathematics, and language. Academically, he led his staff to adopting and implementing the Common Core State Standards to increase literacy achievement and math achievement.

Since 2012, he has dedicated himself to coaching, developing and strengthening powerful instructional leaders in every schools. In 2016, Jc was nationally recognized as one of the few Education Week Leaders to Learn from for his work on supporting principals and redefining the critical practices of Principal Supervision. On his journey, he has participated in a number of state and national leadership academies that allowed him to co-develop and launch a year-long school leader preparation program. He has also collaborated and informed the Principal Supervision Initiative, Urban School Human Capital Academy, as well as district and statewide principal performance standards and certification processes.

He believes the most important lever to leading a district and/or school to excellence is the leadership. Consequently, Jc has supported and advised individual school / district leaders and organizations with his expertise for identifying the “right practices” to achieving positive student outcomes.


  • Bilingual education programming
  • Leadership development
  • Organizational leadership
  • Principal supervision
  • Professional development design and delivery


  • BS in Elementary Education (Bilingual/Bicultural sequence), minor in T.E.S.O.L. from Illinois State University, IL
  • MA in Education Leadership from Aurora University – Aurora, IL

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