Ms. Plocher is passionate about creating a community where students are challenged to think critically about humanity and their role in the world. She believes that all children learn in their own unique way and at their own pace, and that a positive, empathic, child-focused atmosphere is key to success.
As Burley’s principal since 2012, Ms. Plocher leads with her heart and strives to get to know each student as an individual. She loves working with an expert staff that deeply values learning, literature, social justice, and students’ social-emotional well being and growth. She is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Burley families on their own child’s successes, as well as on many projects, initiatives, and events that make Burley such a special place.
Ms. Plocher knew she wanted to be an educator since she was a child. She worked as a YMCA camp counselor in a disadvantaged neighborhood growing up and was inspired to connect with campers through their hearts as well as their minds. This early experience confirmed her desire to become a teacher. Within CPS, she has taught grades 3, 4 ,and 8, worked as a reading specialist and city-wide instructional coach, and served as Burley’s assistant principal and principal. Some of her favorite professional texts are Choice Words, Teaching Children to Care, Upstanders, Inquiry to Action, and anything by Lucy Calkins. She is also passionate about the curriculum and philosophy of Facing History and Ourselves.
Ms. Plocher loves to read, listen to music (especially live music), travel, play sports, camp, hike, and explore nature. She lives with her husband and her “children”: two dogs (Moo and Bella), a cat (Thor), and pet fish -- and of course, she is always enjoying time with her beloved Burley chickens. As a child, she played French horn in band for 8 years and has always loved animals and nature. If she weren’t principal, her alternate dream would be living and working at an elephant sanctuary. She is proud and joyful to serve as Burley’s principal, a role to which she gives her whole heart. Ms. Plocher truly believes that every day at Burley is a gift and a new adventure.