Board appoints Christine Clavenna to Pierce Downer principal position

Christine Clavenna
Christine Clavenna

Downers Grove Grade School District 58 is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine Clavenna as the next principal of Pierce Downer School, effective July 1, 2017. The Board of Education formally approved her appointment during its April 24 Budget Workshop.

“It is my distinct honor to recommend Chris Clavenna for the position of principal at Pierce Downer Elementary School,” said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli. “Mrs. Clavenna has risen to the top of a very strong candidate pool, and interview teams were especially impressed by her instructional leadership, her knowledge of elementary teaching and learning, her focus on students, and her collaborative approach to leadership.”

Clavenna currently serves as the assistant principal at Pierce Downer and Hillcrest schools, a position she has held since 2015. She previously served as the assistant principal of O’Neill Middle School for three years and as a principal and assistant principal in Mokena School District 159 for two years. Clavenna also worked as a fifth grade teacher for 16 years prior to entering administration.

“We are thrilled to be able to recommend Chris for this position and are confident that she will continue to serve District 58 and Pierce Downer School with distinction for many years to come,” Dr. Cremascoli added.

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Christine Clavenna, left, with current Pierce Downer Principal Justin Sisul

While working for District 58, Clavenna has implemented and monitored curriculum, evaluated personnel, coordinated IEP meetings, served on the English-Language Arts and STEM committees, helped plan staff development and much more. Clavenna also is highly regarded by her colleagues, parents and students.

“Mrs. Clavenna’s positive impact on the Pierce Downer community cannot be overstated,” said current Pierce Downer Principal Justin Sisul. “Chris has developed strong relationships with the Pierce Downer staff, which allow her to work collaboratively and constructively with the entire school team across all environments. Her relationships extend to the parent community, where she is seen as an integral part of our students’ positive experiences and as supportive counsel in their least fortunate moments.”

Clavenna received a master’s degree in administration and leadership from Governors State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from St. Xavier University. She earned her bachelor degree in elementary education from the University of St. Francis.

“I am excited to be a part of the Pierce Downer family and look forward to continuing my work with the wonderful students, staff and parents,” Clavenna said. “I am eager to carry out the traditions of Pierce Downer and honored to serve alongside this dedicated community that continues to put children first. It has been a privilege to work with Mr. Sisul, and we will assure a smooth transition so that the Pierce Downer community will continue to thrive.”

Clavenna will replace current Pierce Downer Principal Justin Sisul, who will become District 58’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction starting July 1.

Media inquiries may be directed to Megan Hewitt, community relations coordinator, at 630-719-5805 or