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Warrior Institute of Chicago

Dr. Nadine Headen, Ph.D Scholarship

Posted: January 10, 2019

Dr. Nadine E. Headen was born in Chicago, IL on March 11, 1948. She was the eldest daughter of Bennie and Esterline Owens—who helped shape her commitment towards her faith, education, and family values. Nadine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 and spent countless hours honing her skills as a classroom teacher. As her affinity for instructing students in science and mathematics grew, she decided to enroll in graduate school at Roosevelt University. In 1985, Nadine earned her Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration and Supervision and specialized in teaching kindergarten through eighth grade science at Higgins Community Academy. For over five years, Nadine instructed seventh and eighth grade students in both science and mathematics at Sutherland Elementary School. By 1996, she ascended to the position of School Improvement Manager for Chicago Public Schools.

From 1999 to 2003, Nadine served as the Manager for Chicago Public Schools Office of Accountability and Department of School Improvement Planning—before deciding to embark on yet another educational journey. In 2003, Nadine became the Assistant Principal of Kozminski Community Academy and began her doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change. Nadine earned her Doctorate of Education from Roosevelt University in 2005, became the first in her family to hold a doctorate, and worked feverishly towards achieving her goal of serving as the principal of an elementary school located on the south side of Chicago. In 2008, Dr. Headen (affectionately known as “Momma Headen” by many school personnel) became the principal of Kwame Nkrumah Academy.

Dr. Headen’s professional career can be best remembered by her ability to consistently elevate student academic achievement outcomes, build positive relationships/synergy among her staff, and increase accountability measures for those responsible for the needs of today’s youth.

Dr. Headen’s affiliations include, but are not limited to:

1. National Association for Female Educators
2. Chicago Assistant Principals Association
3. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
4. Illinois Federation of School Administrators
5. American Federation of School Administrators
6. National Staff Development Council
7. Delta Kappa Gamma
8. Red Hat Society (RHS), etc.


Dr. Nadine HeadenDr. Nadine E. Headen is our daughter, sister, mother, wife, teacher, coach, and friend. She is the voice that inspires us to take our first step. She is the whisper that encourages us to believe in what we cannot see. She is the laughter that echoes across the caverns of our hearts. She is the breeze that reassures us that we are free. Dr. Headen’s personal, spiritual, and professional lives all mirrored one another. Her faith in God transcended the boundaries of mankind. Her zest for life fueled her passion for serving others. Her anticipation of tomorrow’s treasures fed her tireless devotion and ability to see in others what they couldn’t see in themselves. We will miss her dearly…